Preview: National Enduro Round 2
ENDURO BATTLE CONTINUES: Jody Engelbrecht, winner of the opening race, will have to fend off challenge from William Gillit as the Enduro championship heads to the Eastern Cape.
The battle for the 2012 National Enduro motorcycle championship will continue in the Eastern Cape with the second round to be held in Humansdorp.
The event will consist of one big loop and E1 (Open) and E2 (200cc) competitors will have to complete four circuits and six special timed stages that will include tight sections, hill climbs, riverbeds and meandering rock paths.
Defending title holder, Chris Birch (KTM) will be at the front of the battle, albeit with a knee injury. He needs as many points as possible after missing scoring the opening race due to a crash.
E1 AND E2 CHALLENGES
His opposition will include the winner of the first race, Jade Gutzeit (Yamaha), currently leading the overall standings, as well as team mate Marc Torlage who was second overall and won the E2 category.
Members of Team KTM will also aim for victory as they have not been able to claim race laurels for some time. Louwrens Mahoney is third on the overall standings and second in E1 with Dakar hero Darryl Curtis fourth overall and third in E1. Riaan van Niekerk is further down in 10th place overall (fourth in E2) while Gray Dick is 14th. Michael Creevy is 10th in he E2.
Brian Capper (KTM), fresh from a knee operation, will hope to improve his fifth place overall (fourth in E1) while enduro newcomer Lloyd Vercuel (Husaberg) would like to prove that his sixth place at the first event was no fluke.
Yamaha’s Bradley van Aswegen is second in E2 (seventh overall) and only one point ahead of James Hodson (KTM) on the overall standings and two points ahead of him in E2. A few young E2 competitors will also like to prove themselves, among them Scott Bouverie (KTM) who is fifth in E2 (11th overall, Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) seventh in the class and his team mate Wade Young, who is eighth.
Gutzeit and Young have each won their classes in the 2011 Junior National (off-road) championship so will be racing in only their second National Enduro event. Gutzeit competed in the Silver Class Challenge in 2011.
Kenny Gilbert (KTM) has not competed in enduro races in South Africa for five years and is ninth overall. J C de Bruyn (Yamaha) is 12th overall while the rest of the top 20 consists of Brett Lewis (GasGas, 16th), Michael Pentecost (Yamaha, 17th) and Mark Garland (Yamaha). Dominic Mantle (KTM) rounds off the top 20.
Joining Birch with no points on the board are riders such as KTM’s Altus de Wet, Timothy Young (Yamaha), Wynand Badenhorst and Stefan Oosthuysen (KTM).
The defending Senior Class champion, William Gillit (Yamaha) will aim to overtake the winner of the opening race, Jody Engelbrecht (Yamaha). Newcomer Ryan Struckman (Yamaha) is in third. Steven Landman (GasGas) hopes to improve on a disatrous first race which the Yamaha rider could not finish.
Denzil Torlage (Yamaha) will again be the man to beat in the Master Class where he bagged maximum points from the first race in his quest to defend his title. Chasing him will be Mark du Plessis (KTM), currently in second, followed by Graydon Ilderton (KTM).
Almost all the riders in the top five of the Silver Class Challenge have entered again; here the Free State’s Chris Strampe (KTM) is leading Riaan van der Walt (KTM) with Yamaha’s Tsukholo Mojaki third.
All the action will be based at the Twisters Sports Club in Humansdorp and the racing will start on Saturday, April 14 at 8am.