Tough ride - but Matt tops quads
A dream came true for Matthew Barnard (17) - he's won the 2011 Junior National Off-road championship title after a tough year competing in the Senior Open Quad Class of the series.
Barnard had some bad luck through the first two rounds of the season’s seven events and had to fight his way back with three podium places, including a win from the Montagu Junior National in the Western Cape in August.
He took the championship lead with two rounds left but a crash at the next event (though he finished fifth) sent hijm to the start line for the final race with only four points separating him from two earlier race winners, Tinus Bredenkamp and Gerhard Steenkamp.
With a strategy to enjoy the final event of the season – the Mvoti Barkbuster Junior National on October 8 outside Greytown in KZN – while maintaining his position (he started fifth ) and staying ahead of Bredenkamp and Steenkamp, Barnard tackled the race.
The dust made it dangerous to overtake and both riders had problems but by finishing the demanding three-hour race fourth Barnard scored enough for his first National off-road quad title - the Senior Open Quad Class for riders aged 15-18 on quads with engine up to 450cc.
Barnard is a Grade 11 student at Glen Vista High in southern Johannesburg.
While in his final year in school Barnard, whose blood still runs (KTM!) orange will compete in the 2012 Senior National Off-road Quad championship on a new KTM450.