Title leaders want more in Botswana
Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing heads to the double-header third and fourth round South African Cross Country Moto championship Toyota 1000 Botswana Desert Race with a spring in its step over the weekend 22 to 24 June. The team will arrive at the race’s Jwaneng headquarters sharing the lead of the overall and OR1 championships and ahead in the OR2 title chase, while all four of its riders sit in the top three in their respective classes.
Kenny Gilbert from Pretoria sits in the joint lead of both the overall and open class OR1 championships aboard his Pepson Plastics Husqvarna FX450, on equal in points with arch rival Ross Branch in both title tables. “The Desert Race is a great weekend but it’s a difficult one because we literally race through my main rival Ross Branch’s backyard and that sort of hometown advantage can be difficult to overcome,” Kenny smiled. “But what better than an against the odds challenge to overcome — it would be wonderful to win there!”
It’s a Pepson Plastics Husqvarna 1-2 in the OR2 class, where Taki Bogiages leads young Travis Ghelig going into the Desert Race. Pretoria rider Bogiages ended second in both the opening round races at Eshowe and Koue Bokkeveld and heads to Botswana intent on going one better. “The 1000 is the biggest Cross Country race of the year — it’s three days of racing through the desert sand and thorns but it would be great to consolidate my championship lead there,” Taki explained. “My Pepson Plastics Husqvarna FX350 is ready and I can’t wait to race — bring it on!”
Boksburg lad Travis Ghelig sits second behind Bogiages in the OR2 title chase following positive results in the opening rounds and he cannot wait to accelerate his learning curve aboard his Pepson Plastics Husqvarna FX350. “We head to Botswana on a pretty good footing,” Travis admitted. “I’ve enjoyed two solid finishes with a podium third in the season opener, but the main objective is to get through the three days of tough desert racing and hopefully score my best result yet for the team.”
Masters class rider and team sponsor Iain Pepper heads to Botswana in a strong third in the class for older drivers and the 55-year old from Midrand is keen to improve his championship lot. “The Desert Race is my biggest challenge of the season — I have been training all year for this one and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it,” Iain pointed out. “I have the best possible machinery in my Pepson Plastics Husqvarna and an incredible team behind me, so I suppose it’s now up to me — let’s do this!”
The Toyota 1000 Desert Race for Cross Country Cars and Motorcycles is based at Jwaneng in southern Botswana — Moto competitors start with a 35 kilometre time trial to set starting positions on Friday, before taking on a couple of laps of a separate 225km Western Loop on Saturday and then swapping with the cars for two laps of a 220km Eastern Loop on Sunday.
“Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing heads to the Toyota 1000 Botswana Desert Race keen to capitalise on our strong start to the season,” Husqvarna Motorcycles South Africa Brand Manager Fred Fensham concluded. “This is the biggest race of the year with pretty much two races back to back — another perfect test for Pepson Plastics Husqvarna Racing. “Best of luck to our riders and the team for another gold medal performance!”