|What||South African Cross Country Moto Round 3 Report|
|Where||Matatiele, Eastern Province|
|When||Saturday 21 August 2021|
|Community||South Africa National|
Michael turns SA Cross Country Moto chase on its head
Michael Pentecost threw a giant green cat among the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship pigeons at a splendid Matatiele third round on Saturday.
The KZN rider swapped brands in the lead up to the weekend, arrived in Matat armed with a brand new Franchise Co CIT Kawasaki and proceeded to dominate. the race. Pentecost beat fellow KZN lad, OR2 winner Bradley Cox' Brother Leader Tread KTM and OR3 winner, Gauteng lad Davin Cocker's Rockstar Energy Husqvarna to the lower podium steps.
Jarryd Coetzee was fourth on his OR1 Brother Leader Tread KTM from second OR3 man Scott Heygate's Alfie Cox KTM, OR1 trio d’Artagnan Lobjoit's Pepson Plastics Motul Kawasaki, SA Cross Country champion Brett Swanepoel’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and returning SA OR1 champion Charan Moore's OR1 Brother Leader Tread KTM. Two more KTMs, Kerim Fitz-Gerald's OR2 Red Bull bike and OR3 KTM Durban lad Gareth Cole closed out the top ten.
Pentecost qualified third behind Cox and Cocker in Saturday’s time trial but the Kawasaki man was in charge by the end of the first lap with a 36 second lead over Cox and Cocker. Pentecost added a further 21 seconds to his lead over Cox with the fastest lap of the day on the second tour as Brett Swanepoel popped up in third. Brett lost time on the third tour, where Cox matched Pentecost, before Swanepoel was quickest over Cox as Pentecost consolidated to win the day.
The Matatiele result had a significant effect on the overall championship chase. Cox now sits in a handy provisional 10 point lead over Swanepoel, while Pentecost jumps up from ninth to third ahead of Lobjoit, who stays fourth. Scott Heygate jumps from 8th to fifth, while Davin Cocker and Jarryd Coetzee leap up from the mid teens. Ian Rall, Dylan Cox and Matthew Wilson all lost out in the tile chase. All championship points are subject to MSA ratification.
In the classes, Michael Pentecost took the OR1 win on his Kawasaki from Jarryd Coetzee's KTM, d’Artagnan Lobjoit’s Kawasaki, Brett Swanepoel on his Husqvarna, Charan Moore’s KTM, Dynamic HMW Sherco man Hayden Louw and Henco Botha’s KTM. That provisionally leaves Swanepoel holding a slender five point open class championship lead over Pentecost with Lobjoit another four points adrift and Louw holding a watching brief.
Second place man, SA champion Bradley Cox took OR2 honours on his KTM ahead of his motocross rival Kerim Fitz-Gerald on another Red Bull KTM, the troubled Ian Rall’s Dragon Energy MCA Husqvarna and Rikus Botha’s KTM . That also saw Bradley open his championship lead over lead Rall up to 5 points with Fitz-Gerald a further 5 points behind.
Davin Cocker made up for his last round disaster with his second OR3 win in three races on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM lads Scott Heygate and Gareth Cole, Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing duo Kyle Mckenzie and Taki Bogiages, Erik Merry’s Verotest Husqvarna and last round winner Matthew Wilson's MCA Husqvarna. That saw Cocker jump back from fourth to second that class title chase a point behind Heygate and ahead of Wilson and Bogiages, in the absence of former leader Dylan Cox.
Wade Blaauw continued his Seniors domination with his third win in three races on his Roost KTM. His closest over-30s title rival Deon du Toit was second on his Franchise CIT Kawasaki from Shimwells Yamaha duo Dirk Olivier and Marco Cocci, and KTM Durban lad Stuart Gregory. Wayne Farmer's Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna bounced back to take the Masters win from over-40s championship leader Greg Nairn's Perry Husqvarna and Miellies le Roux’s Alfie Cox KTM.
In schoolkid action, Branden Swanepoel took his second High School class win of the season aboard his Bike Shack Trademore Sherco ahead of local hero Ross Ramseyer, his KTM Durban teammate Dylan Jones and John Botha's TFC CIT Husqvarna. That sees Swanepoel into a single point title advantage over round 2 winner Jones with Botha and Yamaha rider Damon Cox next up.
Cobus Bester took the 85cc Junior win on his Spherical Holeshot Husqvarna to close down second man Thomas Scales’ championship advantage down to four points Scales’ Dynamic KTM teammate Murray Smith was third from Johnny Luck on a MCA Husqvarna and Sam Pedlar's Peak Yamaha. And Justin Rom was the first baby 65cc kid home on his Husqvarna ahead of KTM trio Brad Apostolides, Ethan van Aswegen KTM an d Zach Wichmann's Mpenjati Coffee machine.
It’s another total change of scenery as the MSA South African National Cross Country Motorcycle Championship leaves the foothills of the Berg and heads to the virgin new season mielie fields in Delmas on the Highveld Saturday 11 September. That one could very well be dusty considering the region may well still be awaiting its first spring rains. Which could very well play into the hands of the Gauteng riders...
Issued on behalf of SA Cross Country Moto
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