MPUMALANGA, South Africa - The fourth round of the National Enduro Motorcycle championship, the ‘Pilgrims Rest National Enduro’ that takes place on July 27 in Mpumalanga, will level the playing field at a critical stage in the 2013 series.It will be the first time in many years that national enduro competitors will compete in the area and with only three events remaining for the 2013 season, it will be crucial for title contenders to score points.UNDER PRESSUREOnly ten points separate the top four riders on the overall leader board with three having the same points deficit behind overall leader Wade Young (Husaberg), who experienced a few misfortunes after winning the season opener.Yamaha team mates, Marc Torlage (E2 / 200cc) and Kenny Gilbert (E1 / Open Class) as well as Nicholas Pienaar (KTM – E1) are 10 points behind Young. Gilbert and Pienaar are aiming for their first enduro victory in 2013.Altus de Wet (Husqvarna) is the most recent winner and would like to capitalise on his victory and better his fifth place on the overall standings. Fourth-place Louwrens Mahoney (KTM), who is only four points ahead of De Wet, is still out of action with a broken ankle.Mahoney’s team mate, Scott Bouverie, is five points behind the Husqvarna rider and will also aim for a place in the top five.CLOSING THE GAPBouverie has a small gap of eight points to the three youngsters behind him who will no doubt aim to close the gap. Brett Swanepoel (KTM) is eighth in his first season on senior level and leads Blake Gutzeit and Tim Young (Kargo Racing Yamaha) who have the same amount of points. The fact that only 34 points (a victory is worth 25 points) separate the top ten riders from each other, is a sign of the competitiveness of the championship while it is also interesting to note that there are three young scholars between these riders – (Wade) Young, Swanepoel and Gutzeit.James Hodson is 11th but only one point stands between him and the top riders, something he would like to change after scoring consistently throughout 2013.E2 CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPWhile overall standings is important, it is the class championships and titles competitors are actually chasing. Young leads the E2 Class Championship where the leading five riders have all completed each event in 2013.He is nine points ahead of Torlage who is again only six points ahead of Bouverie. Swanepoel trails Bouverie by nine points with Hodgson only one point behind him.Pienaar (63 points) leads the E1 Class Championship – he is one point ahead of Mahoney and three points ahead of Gilbert. De Wet had to play catch-up after he could not finish the season opener and is now only ten points behind Gilbert and five points ahead of (Tim) Young with Scott Scheepers four points behind. With 25 points up for grabs for a victory (22 points for second place and 20 for a third) anything can still happen between the leaders in both championships.In the Senior Class Championship only a few points (seconds) separate the front runners after the first three events.Defending champion, William Gillit (Yamaha) has won twice but admits that the competition has been tough. He currently leads Bruce May (Yamaha), the only other winner, by a mere five points with Jody Engelbrecht (Husaberg) only five points behind.These three riders have occupied all the podium positions and the battle will be on at the remaining three events. Gillit’s team mate, Stephen Landman, is somewhat behind in fourth place with Mathew Barker (Yamaha) a single point behind him in fifth.The Master Class Championship for competitors older than 46 years, has kicked the season off with a healthy amount of entries, but the entries have dwindled by July 2013.LEADING THE PACKDefending champion, Denzil Torlage (Yamaha) has built up a healthy lead of 17 points ahead of Graydon Ilderton (KTM) who leads Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) by five points. Although Torlage would like to add more victories in 2013, he cannot afford to put to take too many risks as he is still within reach of both Ilderton and Rohrbeck.It looks like the Junior National Championship Open Class leader, Damien Scott has had it all his way in 2013 as he is also leading the Silver Class Challenge where he is 17 points ahead of second-placed Sage McGregor (KTM) after three class victories.McGregor unfortunately broke his collarbone and will be out of action while third-placed Kirsten Landman (KTM) is also recovering from injuries sustained at the off-road race in Botswana. Toni Jardine (KTM), who missed the KEI National Enduro due to her participating in Europe, is fourth and would hope to move up onto the podium.Young riders between the ages of 14 and 16 have been active in the Junior National Challenge Class where Travis Teasdale (Husaberg) has the most points. He will however compete in the E2 Championship.Fourth-placed Reinhardt Ferreira will fancy his chances against class newcomers Brendan Swanevelder (KTM) and Chayse Orsmond (Husaberg) – both competitors in the Junior National Off-road Championship – and Tyler Cunniffe.The route will include various river crossings as well as a few very steep climbs (one of these climbs is two kilometres long!) and descents while it will take competitors through old mine slopes and over an old coco-pan railway line and through a wattle forest. There will be a short 2.5km special as well as a 13km timed special on the 50km loop.Riders who post the quickest special-stage times and have the least penalty points will be the respective (class) winners.The race will start on July 27 at 8am and all the action will take place just outside Pilgrims Rest.