Race Report - The Monster Energy SA MX Nationals - Round 5
Dirt Bronco, Gauteng - 25 July 2015

Michelle Smith and Noleen Roome from MXSA met us for documentation at the crack of dawn. The air temperature felt in the minuses, the venue was dark and the track had unfortunately been flooded by heavy down pour’s which is unusual and freakish weather for this time of the year. Laren van der Westhuizen, was slaving away in these uncomfortable conditions to erect and establish team TLB Yamaha’s world class infrastructure, shading and banners.
Practice was a challenge for all the riders, as the mud was exceptionally deep and the sludgy water on the competitor’s goggles made visibility very limiting. Sacha managed 6th position during qualifying, as the opportunity of a clear run at the track did not present itself or become available during the wet fifteen minute session.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

Kerim Fitzgerald showcased he’s all new KTM 2016 450 and took the hole shot on this beast of a machine, he was closely followed by Wyatt Avis, Neville Bradshaw and Sacha Naude was somewhere at the tail end of the scuffle after a weak start. Heat one became interesting, when Kerim, Neville and Sacha were on each other’s back wheels. Neville, an experienced mud rider, made an awesome pass to take the lead and convincingly win race one. Sacha had run out of tear offs and was battling with visibility behind Kerim on his brand new Katoom. The yellow flag had slowed up the top riders due to several racing incidences and crashes at the bottom end of the track. David Goosen capitalized on the yellow flag situation and gained massive momentum on an outside line at the furtherest end the track. In my opinion and that of many spectators and parents, the passing maneuver made by Goosen was pre-meditated to a certain degree, however, this discrepancy was discussed at length by the Clerk of the Course (COC) and we accepted Mr Jack Cheney’s decision. Goosen secured 2nd place, Kerim 3rd and Sacha 4th in the first heat.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

After a very disappointing result in race one, the Mystar was amped and made use of a modified race strategy and approach. The young man came through the first corner in third position and quickly made a majestic passing maneuver on Neville Bradshaw to take the lead in the second corner. Sacha had a clear run from there onwards and was able to stamp his authority and prove his capacity as the rightful reigning South African Champion. Neville found himself in a difficult position behind Jayden Ashwell and took several laps before he could make the pass stick. Once in second place, Bradshaw unleashed his inner beast and posted the fastest lap time of the race. The gap built between Sacha and Neville during the race was sufficient enough for the Number One Rider to confidently win the second heat. Neville Bradshaw took the top spot on the podium, Sacha was second overall and David Goosen took the final spot on the box. This was Yamaha’s first one two result during the 2015 National Series and was most certainly a great privilege and honour to share this success with multiple British Champion, Neville Bradshaw.

The MX1 Championship will be going down to the wire; with only two National Rounds remaining, and the extended break that lies ahead is just what the Doctor ordered.
We look forward to seeing all our fellow competitors, supporters and fans down in Richards Bay on the 10th of October 2015.

Race Report - The Monster Energy SA MX Nationals - Round 3
Rover, Port Elizabeth - 30 May 2015

The long road trip to race the third round of MSA’s (Monster Energies National Series), was well worth the distance travelled. Rover’s club members consist of a handful of people and they all put in a massive effort to ensure South Africa’s most difficult and challenging track was a great success. Well done Port Elizabeth, we were well received and well treated by the friendly windy city.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

Yamaha South Africa and Vision Racing’s Grant Foley went out of their way to ensure Neville Bradshaw, a multiple British MX2 Champion would compete in the remaining five (5) rounds of our National Series. To have Neville racing the local boys is both a privilege and an honor. We thoroughly enjoyed having Nevstar in the mix and watching the MX2 Class was a spectacular, intense and competitive war zone for the top five (5) riders.

The MX1 Class has most noticeably been a Yin and Yang class with three (3) different winners at each National, so far this year.
Neville Bradshaw capitalized on good starts in both races and was one step ahead in both fitness and speed. Anthony Raynard earned a well deserved second position, looking strong and fit in Rover’s sandpit.

Sacha had his only crash of the day during practice. Unfortunately, he was unable to post a fast lap and secure a decent gate position for race 1. After experiencing two (2) bad starts in both heats, a massive effort was required to catch up and secure passes in the MX1 Class. The second heat was far more spectacular and difficult to pass the lightning fast Michael Docherty, on an extremely difficult and worn out track at the end of a long race day.
Having finished third in both heats respectfully, Sacha was able to secure the final spot of the podium. A third position was considered fair by our team manager (Laren Van Der Westhuizen) as we were able to narrow the Championship points lead by a further two (2) points.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I anticipate this three (3) way points battle will continue until the final National of the year.
A convincing display of brute force was required to secure the MX1 Championship in 2014. In 2015, a completely different approach is required and a far higher level of intensity and commitment is called for. We have our thinking caps on and are continuously striving towards improving on fitness, speed and consistency.

It was a pleasure keeping you all updated and we look forward to seeing all our National and International competitors in Durban (Springfield) on the 27-06-2015.

Race Report - The Monster Energy SA MX Nationals - Round 2
Zone 7, Cape Town - 11 April 2015

From the very first time I can recall racing in the Mother City, we were received in Cape Town with hot summer temperatures exceeding 30 degrees. It took a full day to adjust, before we packed our bags and departed to the
Cape Town’s Zone 7 had once again put in a massive effort, the track was prepped to perfection and I most certainly enjoyed this both fast and spectator friendly venue.

A word of thanks must go to our Team Owner and Team Manager (Gerhard Grove and Laren Van Der Westhuizen), whom erected our world class pit area next to the Monster VIP Tent. I can proudly state for the greater good of the sport that KTM, Husqvarna, Kawasaki and many satellite teams have literally invested millions of rands in advertising paraphernalia, shading, vehicles and making our sport look professional. Furthermore, the massive infrastructure all the teams had assembled was such a pleasure to view from a distance.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

The MX1 (450 Class) was the second practice and the track had developed a few good lines. This allowed for some fast lap times and Yamaha’s Caleb Tennant was superior, by setting a lap time of 2.08. The second bunch settled on 2.10’s and were separated by split seconds.
In a nutshell, the intensity of the riders this year is insane and every competitor is hungry to win. We have a few additional riders from abroad competing in our local championship and these additions have made the MX1 Class even more exciting. The sport has greatly benefited by receiving a new title sponsors in the MX1 Class and the day Honda and Suzuki join the party, the Nationals will be even more of a thriller.

The gates dropped in heat one, and Sacha had a great start for once. Anthony Raynard took the hole shot and was looking strong, fortunately, Sacha caught Ant off guard in the 3rd corner and took the lead. Anthony pushed Sacha until the checkered flag and made him work for his money, (the No 23 is one super fit individual). Kerim Fitz-Gerald, David Goosen and Shannon Terreblanche were all in close proximity and the slightest of mistakes by the front runners would have allowed them to go by.

Heat 2 was going to be far more difficult as Gizmo took the hole shot and Sacha was back in fourth position. The young man dropped the hammer early in the race and quickly promoted himself to second position behind Fitzgerald.

Guess what, No 23 (Ace Raynard) was behind Sacha in third and the “Cat and Mouse” game continued. The fastest man on the track was Michael Docherty, this explosive young kid came past the two boys like a man possessed, after a day that had been plagued by mechanical failures. Mike’s run of bad luck unfortunately continued and he sadly crashed shortly after his aggressive passing maneuvers. Kerim maintained his lead until the end, Sacha salvaged second place, Raynard finished third, Terblanche fourth, Docherty fifth and our team mate Caleb Tennant was sadly forced to settle for sixth position (after suffering electrical problems the entire day).

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

To take the overall win in Cape Town was overwhelming and left a warm feeling in our stomachs after the recent dip Sacha has been experiencing with his speed. Regardless of our result, the Premier Class can be won by any of the top eight riders and fortunately, Saturday was our day. We capitalized on the win and gladly took the points.

Over the past month, we have received valuable upgrades to our suspension from Game Services in the form of Race Tech Suspension Kits and the unconditional assistance from TLB Plant Hire, Jim Tarintino, Monster Energy, Sunoco Fuels and Yamaha have made our race days so much easier; thank you for your support.
I wish Wyatt Avis a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing all our competitors in the friendly windy city (Port Elizabeth) at the end of May in 2015.

Race Report - The Monster Energy SA MX Nationals - Round 1
Harrismith - 28 February 2015

Over and above the normal day to day social networking, I have not had the opportunity to put pen to paper for a long period of time (Syringa 2014), and received a subtle reminder from Michelle Smith yesterday, that an updated race report is long overdue.

Over the past few months, our family has enjoyed and celebrated the birth of my granddaughter (Simone Alessandra Naude), which has been a phenomenal experience.

Our new addition to the household has changed the family’s priorities and at the same time required large amounts of adjustments to both Sacha and Rhona’s normal routine (you all know that sleepless night thing).

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

2015 started off with a bang in many ways. Yamaha received a new sponsor from Gerhard Grove’s TLB Plant Hire and moto-cross’s legendary sports ambassador Laren Van Der Westhuizen, was appointed as our new Team Manager. The hand over period has taken time and had it’s challenges, however, the biggest team in the paddock is almost at full speed.

Returning from a serious arm injury / burn sustained during the final National of 2014 has delayed our pre season training and the recovery of this injury has been an ongoing process.

The first two (2) Regionals yielded fair results and Sacha finished runner up to Kerim Fitzgerald in both the Womza and MSA National held at Terra Topia.

The level, standard and speed of the top ten riders which entered this year’s Harrismith National were well prepared and faster than ever. Michael Docherty, like Matthew Malan is extremely fast, fit and has youth on their sides. Kerim Fitzgerald is currently the most race ready athlete at this stage of the year, however, six (6) National events remain, excluding the local Regional’s and the Sunoco Series to further assist with our race preparation, speed and fitness.

Unfortunately, we were caught off guard in Harrismith with regards to our rear suspension which regressed during the day and Sacha experienced a total rear shock failure in the second heat.

Sacha managed a fourth in the first heat and circulated in ninth position with a seized rear shock in the second heat. This equated to a unexpected sixth overall for the day.

In the interim, we have visited Dr Sommerville from Game Services to overhaul our suspension, and have gone back to basics in a bid to strengthen our formidable racing foundation and compete to the best of our ability for the remainder of 2015.

We look forward to racing as much as possible in the build up to Cape Town and will strive towards a far better and stronger performance at Zone 7 in April.

Photo courtesy Brodalka Photography.

Top honours for Sacha Naude in MX1 & MX2 in the WOMZA National Championship.

MX 2 Seniors (250F)
The MX 2 qualifying times looked similar to that of a Formula One Q3 session (with the top seven riders, all within one and a half seconds of each other). Kawasaki’s Wyatt Avis showed the youth that he still possesses the natural speed required to qualify in pole position.
Nicholas Adams and Tristan Purdon (the juniors of the class), were on the cable in the first heat and most certainly gave the senior riders something to think about. Sacha was well aware of his narrow 11 point buffer and pushed extremely hard to take the lead from Tristan and secured the win in the first heat. Purdon finished second by a small margin of 3,4 seconds and Yamaha’s Michael Kok came in third.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as Mr Avis (in his twilight years), had a great nights sleep on Saturday and convincingly took the win in the first MX 2 heat on Sunday. Sacha Naude and Michael Kok took second and third place respectfully.
Having succumbed to a few unfortunate racing incidents, Tristan Purdon gave 100% in the final MX 2 heat of the day and was charged down until the checkered flag by Michael Kok (88), that was riding like a man possessed. Nicholas Adams rounded off the top three and Sacha strategically settled in fourth position. A total of 66 points was sufficient for Yamaha’s No 54 to secure the overall win for the day and simultaneously take the 2014 Womza MX 2 Championship. Yamaha, for the first time this year had taken all three (3) spots of the podium, something Grant Foley had confidently predicted for a long period of time.

The Premier Class MX 1 (450F)
The Premier Class kicked off with a surprisingly fast lap by Lloyd Vercueil on his Kawasaki and the young man had first gate choice.
Michael Kok was a man on a mission in the MX 1 Class and had a point to prove. This weekend’s MX 1 victory was for the Jenning’s family and losing was not an option. Michael was on another level in the first heat and beat both Kerim and Sacha by a substantial margin.“The Kokstar” approached the second heat with a similar mind set to that of the first heat and his sole purpose was to win. Sacha had a more calculating approach, by consolidating sufficient points to secure the championship and comfortably finished the race in second position. Lloyd Vercueil had a great race, looked focused, fit and finished third.
With the MX 1 Championship basically in the bag, Sacha took a unilateral decision to “drop the hammer”, and won the third and final MX 1 heat to show the crowd exactly why “The Sach-Mystar” deserved the 2014 MX 1 (450F) Championship. This was to be Yamaha’s second Premier Title of the day and year, with the same rider and the same brand.
Michael Kok deservedly took the glory, as he rode the race of his life and took the top step of the podium at Syringa Parks National. After a long weekend of racing, Sacha was content having secured the second spot of the podium.

Border Moto-Cross Club professionally hosted the fourth round of the Womza – Monster – TRP National Series and did their level best to alleviate any dust control concerns. The general consensus amongst the moto-cross’s was that the East London track is of a unique design, extremely taxing due to the sharp edges and this factor created arm pump and serious muscle spasms for the majority of riders.

The MX2 Class received a record number of 39 entries and the top 7 riders in this class posted qualification times that were fast enough to win the National. The 250 Class is currently extremely competitive and has a massive amount of depth.

As previously stated, East London is a unique track and a top three start, consistent riding, mental and physical fitness were all pre-requisites to ensure podium results for any rider which had entered this event.

With the continuous help we receive from GAME Services Technical and Maintenance Team, significant progress has been made in improving the overall performance of our Yamaha’s this year. The hard work preparing the bikes has paid off and Sacha managed to achieve top three starts the entire weekend.

Our teammate and local favorite (Tristan Purdon) had great reactions and took all three hole shots. Tristan won the first two heats in the MX2 Class and was closely followed by Yamaha’s Number 54, whom finished in second position in both races.

In the third and final MX2 heat, Sacha surprised myself and spectators alike by “dropping the hammer” in a big way. The young man posted his personal best lap time of the weekend aboard his Yamaha 250F and managed to better his fastest MX1 lap time of the weekend on a 250F (unbelievable).

Tristan deservedly took the overall and Sacha secured the second spot of the podium. For the first time this season we walked away with the Race Star MX2 “Red Plate” and look forward to continuing with our consistent results at Syringa later this year.

The MX1 (450) Class was a sweet storey, with a bitter ending.

Kerim Fitzgerald made a quick pass on the MX1’s hole shot king (David Goosen) and took control of the race during the early stages of the first heat. Unfortunately, Sacha had a small crash in the third lap and was relegated to 6th position. Having fought a tough battle and putting in a strong effort, the KTM rider had created a safe buffer and we had to settle for second.

The second heat was a tale of two stories, “The Mystar” capitalized on a great start and made an assertive pass on “The Goose” to take an early lead. The race was won with form and speed that we have all become accustomed to and enjoyed by Sacha in the Premier Class.

The third and final heat of the day was great for spectators and had the crowd at the edge of their seats. “Gizmo” took the hole shot by a very narrow margin which allowed Sacha to make a swift pass in the opening lap and control the race until the 6th lap. Kerim used his experience and fitness to pressurize the “The Mystar”, which was followed by a clean pass. It took a further three laps for Sacha to weigh up his options and plan a final assault on the new race leader.

The options were:
a) Settle for second and tie for first overall or
b) Risk everything and go for the win

By Sacha’s own admission, he was severely fatigued and regrettably greedy. “I chose the latter option and went for the win” were his words. This “go for broke” decision resulted in a high speed crash, buckled motorcycle, badly bruised rider and an 8th position in the final heat. Vision Racing’s Michael Kok was most certainly the fastest rider on track in the final heat of the day and finished second in this race. Unfortunately, this exceptionally fast and eccentric athlete was plagued by an unusual amount of bad luck throughout the weekend and his final results were not a true reflection of his speed and ability.

To date, we have most certainly enjoyed many highs and managed our lows during this long season and feel both truly proud and privileged to have maintained the MX1 Red Plate throughout this year, well done Sacha.

The continuous support we have received from Yamaha South Africa, Jim Tarantino (TRP), Game Services and Pirtek Racing have made our racing possible and helped keep our championship dreams alive, thank you.

We look forward to the final WOMZA National to be held at Syringa on the 6th & 7th September 2014.

Solid weekend for Sacha Naude in Pietermartizburg.
by Shane Naude

MXSA and Natal Moto-Cross both hosted yet another well organized and challenging National in Pietermaritzburg this past weekend.
The rider’s were put to the ultimate test on Thunder Valley’s extremely undulated, hard pack and very slippery terrain.
Sacha was unfortunately caught off guard in the early stages of practice by a newly built triple jump that was added to the track. A lapse in concentration and small oversight of the jump and wet surface which lay ahead, resulted in a heavy crash, and with significant damages to the bike. Our rider walked away with an injured neck, swollen fingers and a loss of breath.

We did not record a single fast lap in the MX1 qualifying session, were unseeded and had last gate choice due to the above mentioned crash. The MX2 qualifying yielded slightly better results and we secured 5th position in this qualifying session, having completed only one (1) fast lap due to the injury sustained.
Sacha’s physical and mental condition had been seriously knocked and compromised by the practice crash and he was unable to focus or apply his usual skills set on the track.

Taking the above mentioned into consideration, we are more than happy to settle tie for first in the MX1 Class. In the first 450 heat, the dice rolled our way and made the win much easier. The final MX1 Heat was far more difficult as Michael Kok raised his game and deservedly won this race. KTM’s Kerim Fitz-Gerald rode a far more competitive second heat and Sacha had to defend his position from time to time. Yamaha claimed the top two positions of the podium, an awesome achievement on National Level - Well done boys.
The MX2 Class was a comedy of errors. From bad starts to bad form and a general lack of focus, all culminated in Sacha finishing fourth and third respectfully in the 250 Class.

This was most certainly not one of our best Nationals to date, however, we remain optimistic, positive and will continue with our hard work and preparation for the East London National next weekend.

Another podium weekend for Sacha Naude at Teza
by Shane Naude

The highly anticipated Teza National was successfully hosted this weekend by the single handed hard work and commitment of the Van Eerden Family. Their efforts paid huge dividends, as they raised the bar of moto-cross in South Africa and to date, hosted the finest National in 2014.

This fully functional, spectator friendly venue is prepared to GP standards at all times and on behalf of the South African MX fraternity, I take this opportunity to thank the Van Eerden Family, TRP (Jim Tarintino), Monster Energy and all the subsidiary sponsors that made this event such a great success on every level imaginable. Furthermore, the addition of our newly sponsored PS (Portable Shade) gazebo added that much needed final touch to improve our level of professionalism in the pits. A special thanks must go out to Brad Anassis.

Practice and official qualification started surprisingly well for Sacha, as he secured pole position in the MX1 Class with an impressive lap time. Michael Kok nailed the MX2 qualifying, and Sacha settled for second position.

The Richardsbay climate is extremely hot and humid for this time of year and Sacha exceeded his body’s limits during time practice and felt weary prior to the start of the first set of heats. The slightly fatigued Number 54 made the best of his physical condition and settled for second position in the first set of heats on Saturday (both MX1 and MX2).

The doctor ordered a good night’s sleep at the Protea Hotel and his recommendation ensured that day two would start off on an exceptionally high note. Sacha won Heat 2 in both the MX1 and MX2 Classes, picking up valuable points along the way.

The third MX2 Heat of the weekend was a dog fight until the checkered flag between KTM’s (Kerim Fitzgerald) and Yamaha’s (Sacha Naude). On the final lap a change in positions came very, very close, however, both boys kept it tidy and Gizmo took the final heat. Sacha convincingly won the MX2 Teza National with 69 points, followed by Kerim Fitzgerald with 65 points and Yamaha’s Michael Kok with 62 points.

Hats off to Michael Kok, in the third and final MX1 Heat (he dropped the hammer), took the race win and the overall for the day. Yamaha’s Senior Boss, Mr Adrian Bac had a smile from ear to ear, as for the second time this year (three Yamaha riders) namely Sacha Naude, Michael Kok and Royce Griffen have taken the top three (3) spots of the podium in the Premier Class and proved the 2014 YZF-450 to be the most formidable machine currently available in South Africa.

Thank you very much to sponsors and supporters and we look forward to seeing you all down at the Pietermaritzburg National on the 5th July 2014.

Another top weekend for Sacha Naude in Springfield!

MSA has continued to raise their game and hosted a well supported National on an extremely challenging track down in Natal.
Due to the low lying position of the sun during the latter part of May, limited our racing time and placed massive time constraints on the C.O.C. (Mr Jack Cheney) whom did his level best to fast track the event and shorten races when required.

Sacha had very little time to familiarize himself with this hybrid track, consisting of 50% sand on the lower levels and 50% hard pack on the top level and looked a little off pace on the qualifying sheets. Fortunately, to win races requires a combination of experience, bmt, good starts and fast laps can only be used as a gauge.

The first MX1 Heat was a display of explosive energy from all the riders in this Class. Home favorite, Lloyd Vercuil posted the fastest lap time, unfortunately, his race was prematurely ended with a rear wheel puncture. Ross Branch and Sacha had a full go at one another, keeping spectators on their toes until Sacha also suffered a rear flat wheel in the 12th minute and was forced to circulate and finish 5th.

The second MX1 Heat was one of Sacha’s finest races in 2014. The young man had a great start and was looking for a gap to pass David Goosen for the lead. There is no love lost in the Premier Class and Sacha hit the ground hard after a small racing incident with the Goos. Sacha explained that it took no less than two (2) laps for him to catch his breath and find his rhythm.

A special thank you must go out to Harry Groberlar, as he keeps Sacha positive and motivated at all times by strategically posting positions and lap times on the pit board during the entire race and showed him that a win in the second heat was still very possible. By my own admission, I thought a win from so far back was optimistic. The Number 54 proved us all wrong, took the lead in the 3rd last lap and managed to win the second heat with a flat front wheel. Our team is extremely proud:- as this is our 5th consecutive win on the YZ450 in 2014 (what a machine).

The MX2 Class remains as stacked as ever, with fast, fit, experienced and dedicated athletes. The first few races have required a few minor adjustments to our 250F and I think this weekend we have hit the nail on the head. After a great start, Sacha took the lead in a very short period of time (won Heat 1) and was closely followed by Wyatt Avis and Kerim Fitzgerald.

To our surprise, Sacha hole shoted the second MX2 Race, and traded positions with Kerim Fitzgerald in the early stages of the race. It was not long before Michael Kok put the “bit between his teeth” and rode his best race of the year, passing Sacha and taking the win in Heat 2 (well done Michael). Sacha’s 1 – 2 results were sufficient to take the overall win in the MX2 Class. To win the overalls in both the MX1 and MX2 is a mammoth task, and we are most certainly proud of this weekend’s achievements.

I take this opportunity to thank both Noleen Roome and Michelle Smith for their efforts, dedication and commitment to raising the level of professionalism in our sport.

The manner in which we simultaneously collected our transponders and arm bands during the documentation process is amazing and really been made a pleasure by MXSA, thank you.

Monster weekend for Sacha Naude in Cape Town!

Images courtesy of Brodalka Photography

We have arrived home safely after a long, tough and successful trip to Cape Town. This was an historic Motor-Cross event held in South Africa, as for the very first time, both MSA and WOMZA held their respective Nationals over the Easter weekend.

I was initially concerned that the double header (MSA National at Zone 7 on Friday and the Womza National on Saturday and Sunday) held over the same weekend would be to much, however, this tough schedule sorted the men from the boys and only Kerim Fitzgerald and Sacha Naude had sufficient reserves to complete all 10 heats. Anthony Raynard and Wyatt Avis strategically concentrated their efforts on the MX2 Class only. I have always maintained that this long weekend of racing would be the Motor-Cross equivalent of the “Cape Epic”.

Sacha was on top form in the MX1 (450 Class) and brought his “A” Game to Cape Town. At Zone 7, the track was hard pack and the rider’s pace and lap times were a lot closer for this reason. Sacha won the MSA Event with 47 points, over Kerim Fitzgerald on 45 and Michael Kok securing third position with 42 points. All three boys race pace was exceptional at this venue and the spectators were thoroughly entertained and treated in the MX1 Class.

The MX2 Class proved more difficult, and Sacha had to dig deep having suffered bad starts, finishing 5th and 4th respectfully and missed the podium by a single point. All is not lost, as he is still lying 2nd in the MSA Championship.

Images courtesy of Brodalka Photography

We then moved across the road to race the deep sand at Melkbos (A Womza National). Fitness, mental strength and race strategy were of cardinal importance to be successful over the next two (2) days that were to follow.

The first MX2 Heat Race was a challenge (due to water in the ignition) and this forced Sacha to circulate and finish in 8th position.

On Sunday, the young man came 3rd in both heats in spite of experiencing very average starts. We share a very similar situation to that of MSA with regards to overall point standings, and maintain our 2nd position.

The 450 Class was another story, as the massive horse power of the Yamaha and deep sand at Melkbos favoured Sacha’s riding style, allowed him to decimate the competition in all three (3) heats, and pick up 75 points over the two (2) days of racing.

In my opinion, a monopoly in any business is not healthy and the competition between MSA and WOMZA over the past weekend has significantly raised the bar between the two organizations and simultaneously kept them both on their toes. We will most certainly continue to support both National Calendars and sincerely trust that the respective heads of sport act responsibly, work in parallel and in the rider’s best interest at all times.

Smoking Pistons successfully hosted the second round of the WOMZA Regional Series this Saturday, the 22nd March 2014.
The day started off in extreme mud conditions; nevertheless, the riders practiced on slippery and wet track and shortly thereafter lined up for the first set of heats.

Sacha battled for traction off the start gates on both his 250 and 450F this weekend due to the overwhelming amount of power from the 2014 power plants. A few practice sessions are required to fine tune the young man’s technique on the blue machines.
What you lose on the merry-go-round, you gain on the wheel and Sacha worked his way through the pack to secure second positions in both the MX2 and MX1 heats. An amateur mistake was made in the wash bay during the cleaning of the bike and the spark plug was flooded with water, resulting in a D.N.F. of the second MX2 heat.

The final heat of the MX1 was an epic display of creative thinking from Sacha as he carved his way through the field and in the final lap made a spectacular high speed pass on Kerim Fitz-Gerald, set a new lap record and took the overall win in the Premier Class.

Our next big race day will be the MSA National on the 18th of April 2014 and WOMZA National on the 19th and 20th of April 2014.

Thank you for all your support and we look forward to seeing you at the races.
Report by Shane Naude.

Sacha at a muddy Smoking Pistons on 22 March.

Double podium for Sacha in Port Elizabeth at the first round of the WOMZA Monster Energy MX National Championship.
- MX1 1st Overall
- MX2 2nd Overall

Sacha in action at the Monster Energy MX National in Port Elizabeth

2014 Sponsors

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