Title time again for BMW S1000R
SECOND TITLE FOR BEEMER: BMW Motorrad's Greg Gildenhuys took a second consecutive Superbike title at Zwartkops on Saturday.
Author: Peter Burroughes
Fourth and second in the season's penultimate round at Zwartkops, west of Pretoria, on Saturday were enough to secure Greg Gildenhuys and his BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000RR a second successive SA Superbike championship.
Nearest challenger Chris Leeson (Kawasaki) collected 32 points from two thirds to take his total to 277 but Gildenhuys stretched his points lead to 52 with 50 remaining in the final round at Zwartkops on November 26.
DOWN TO SEVENTH
The 22-year-old from Boskruin on the West Rand was forced to work hard for the 40 points that secured him the 2011 title. Despite an adjustment to the BMW’s clutch and lots of practice on the drag strip at the Tarlton, near Krugersdorp, his notoriously slow starts once again ruined any chances he had of a win in either race.
He dropped to seventh by the first corner after starting the first 10-lapper alongside pole starter Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki). He was up to sixth at the end of lap one and fifth behind Julian Odendaal (Kawasaki) as the field of 15 started lap five. Despite being clearly quicker than the Kawasaki rider, he battled to find a way past on the short and tight 2.4km circuit.
This allowed the front-runners, led by eventual race winner Morais, James Egan (BMW) and Leeson, to get away and it was only on the final lap that he got the better of Odendaal. Although he quickly opened up a gap on Odendaal he had run out of time to catch the third-placed rider and eventually took the chequered flag six-tenths behind Leeson.
Gildenhuys made a better start to race two, dropping from second on the grid to fourth at the first corner. By the end of lap two he was third behind Morais and Leeson, then chased down his championship rival and moved into second place on lap six.
By then Morais had opened up a gap of around three seconds and went on to win the 12-lapper with the BMW rider content to finish second and take the title.
Zwartkops will host the final round on November 26.