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KTM, Can-Am tops in Diamond 400

2012-02-28 07:51

FIRST WIN FOR ANTIGA: Giacomo Antiga (Can-Am) won the overall motorcycle and quad categories of the Diamond Route 400, the first event of the 2012 National Off-Road championship.

Elza Thiart

Louwrens Mahoney (KTM) and Giacomo Antiga (Team Can-Am) won the overall motorcycle and quad categories of the Diamond Route 400, the first event of the 2012 National Off-Road championship, in the Wolmaransstad area of North-West.

It was Mahoney’s second consecutive Diamond Route 400 victory, the first win for Antiga who is a former Junior National champion competing in his second season in this championship.


Mahoney started the race from pole after the 52km time-trial on Friday (February 24). He lost his lead through a crash in the first early laps of this 450km race but  still went on to win in dry, dusty and very hot conditions.

Kenny Gilbert (KTM) was second after struggling with gearing (he was also second in the OR1 Open Class behind Mahoney) while Team  KTM’s Altus de Wet rounded off the podium and won the OR2 (250cc) Class after a fairly trouble-free race.

Antiga, who started second behind Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha), took the lead on the last lap for his first win among the Seniors. Baragwanath had to settle for seventh overall after leading the race when the bolts on his handle bars broke.

Another former Junior competitor, Jurie ‘Botter’ Meyer (Yamaha), was second overall albeit with only third gear to his disposal. It was also a first podium for Damien Lee (Honda) who is competing in his second full National season. John Aylward (Yamaha) was fourth overall, Leonard dos Santos (Suzuki) fifth and top of Q2. He was only 11sec ahead of André du Plessis (Suzuki) who lost time when he took the wrong loop after completing the first loop.


Baragwanath (seventh) beat Stefan Swanepoel (Yamaha), who lost time with flat tyres, by 39sec after a total race time of almost seven and a half hours. Two more former Junior competitors rounded off the top 10 with Tinus Bredenkamp (Can-Am) ninth after a crash and Dino do Amaral (KTM) 10th.

On two wheels, Juan “Bollie” van Rooyen (Kawasaki) was fourth after starting the race 24th (he got lost during the time trial). Van Rooyen finished just ahead of enduro ace Marc Torlage (Yamaha) who beat youngster Michael Pentecost (Yamaha) by 54sec.

It was Pentecost’s first Senior off-road event after completing the Junior series in 2011 and won the OR3 (200cc) Class. Wade Blaauw (Yamaha) was seventh overall and Christopher Webster (Yamaha) finished eighth (he had to replace a wheel) while Dillon Inggs (KTM) was ninth and Mark Garland (Yamaha) 10th.

The OR3 Class podium was rounded off by Michael Creevy (KTM) and Bradley van Aswegen (Yamaha). Meiring Vermeulen (Yamaha) won the OR4 Under 21 Class followed by Ian Dykes (KTM) and Ruan Smith (Yamaha Sandstorm).

There was bad luck for defending title holder, Jade Gutzeit (Yamaha) who crashed early in the race while Tyron Miller (KTM) crashed at the same place and broke a collarbone. Miller’s team mate Riaan van Niekerk had mechanical problems and did not finish and Gray Dick lost time when he fell into a dam (he was 11th in OR1).


Defending Senior Class champion Wayne Farmer (Gas Gas) started the season the same way he completed it last year – by winning. The 2011 battle between Farmer and Guy Henley (Kawasaki) continues, with Henley second – they finished in these positions at this race last year as well.

Enduro rider Steve Landman (Suzuki) was third with Ian Venter (KTM) and Conray Ras (Yamaha) rounding off the top five.

On four wheels this class was won by Amanda Eardley (Can-Am) who led the regular Senior Quad Class entrants of Roxy dos Santos (Suzuki) who was second; Willie Roos (Yamaha) who finished third and Peter Schenk (Honda).

Jurie Jnr’s dad started defending his Master Quad Class title with maximum points with a victory but it was Vicus Breedt (Suzuki) who led the class until he rolled and had to retire. Roxy’s elder brother, Tony dos Santos (Suzuki) finished quite close behind Meyer while Kobus Visser (Can-Am) was third with time to spare behind team mate Claude Newberry. Milton Thesen (Hybrid) rounded off the top five.


Like Meyer, Neil Gailey (KTM) also scored full points in his mission to defend his title successfully in this class for motorcycle competitors. He had some breathing space to Martin Poole (Yamaha) while Jan Berning (KTM) rounded off the podium.

The Silver Class Challenge was won by Junior Louw Schmidt (Suzuki) with another former junior rider, Brandon Youell (KTM), second. Hilton de Bruyn (Yamaha) was third. Another junior rider, Adriaan Uys (KTM), won this class on four wheels.

Eardley also won the Q3 Utility Quad Class Challenge. It was an all EPS Racing Can-Am podium with Newberry second and Visser third. Can-Am rider, DJ Nabal was fourth.

The Ladies Quad Class Challenge had one of the biggest entries in recent years and here Eardley also came out tops. Former Junior rider Elanie van den Berg (Yamaha) was second and Elaine Roberts (Can-Am) third. Liezel Barnard (Can-Am) was fourth; Adi du Plessis (Suzuki) experienced mechanical problems, but finished fifth.

Round 2 of the 2011 National championship will be raced over March 24/24 around Caledon in the Western Cape.

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