By Staff Reporter
Lady luck smiled on veteran rider Rainer Becker when he emerged unscathed from the second leg of the annual Wesbank Motocross Series at the Gallina Race Track north of Windhoek, on Saturday.
Becker was crowned the overall winner in the Open/125cc class – his third consecutive victory in the same class this season.
The veteran rider grabbed the hole-shot in the first heat but had to make way for Tommie Gous on a Zenner-Yamaha at the end of the first lap.
However, Becker relentlessly clung onto his opponent’s rear wheel like an irritating lace until lady luck turned her cheek on Gous, who was forced to call it a day after his bike experienced mechanical problems during the 7th lap – leaving Becker to grab the valuable 20 points at stake.
Veteran rider Ronnie Adams’ experience on two wheels was the turning point in a closely contested race for 2nd place.
With the chasing quartet of Frank Klosta, Kawasaki-rider Wolfgang Rohe, Roual Spangenberg (from Great Britain) and Jaco Loots heavily breathing down his neck – Adams kept his cool and stayed put in 2nd position until the 10th, lap, when Klosta weaved his magic past Adams on the southern bend.
Adams was now left to battle it out with Henry O’Kennedy for the 3rd spot – much to the delight of the spectators who enjoyed every moment of it as the pair went neck and neck.
Prior to the 2nd heat in the Open/125cc Class – the Zenner-Yamaha team was screwing frantically and eventually managed to replace a new engine amidst all the odds stacked against them.
With some built-up rage, Tommie Gous rode his bike to the starting blocks and as soon as the gates dropped, Gous found himself amongst the leading pack with the likes of Becker, Klosta, and Rudi Brand in close proximity. Not too far adrift, the trio of Adams, Loots and Spangenberg, was not to be outdone either.
Like a man possessed, Klosta detected a weakness in Becker’s style of negotiating the obstacles and overtook him mercilessly on the 6th lap.
At the rear end, Adams managed to cruise past Brand and mounted a great challenge for third place – however, Becker was in no mood to compromise and held on for dear life to secure 3rd place.
With the leading ri-ders all having acquitted themselves well in their respective divisions – it was pee-wees all the way as the riders readied themselves for 20 minutes of non-stop action in the popular “King of the Dirt” race.
Once again, Becker wasted little time and sped ahead of his fellow competitors with one tyre-breadth advancing into the first left/right combination-bend.
However, it was not long before Becker surrendered the lead to Gous with the 1st lap hardly in full motion.
Gous got stuck in pole position and finally came out triumphant to claim the prestigious Wesbank King of the Dirt title.
Despite his failure to add the much sought-after King of the Dirt title to his collection of medals on the day – Becker was declared the overall winner – courtesy of Gous’ premature retirement in the first heat, which cost him 20 valuable points.
Results: Wesbank King of the Dirt
1. Tommie Gous, Windhoek, Zenner-Yamaha, 20 points
2. Rainer Becker, Windhoek, Honda-Namibia, 17
3. Ronnie Adams, Kapps-Farm, Suzuki-Namibia, 15
4. Henry o’Kennedy, Windhoek, Tomar Construction Honda, 13
5. Ruhan Gous, Windhoek, Citi-Treff-Honda, 11
6. Eckhard Hall, Swakopmund, Coastal Racing Honda, 10
7. Frank Klosta, Windhoek, Namslab-Yamaha, 9
8. Sascha Becker, Windhoek, Honda, 8
9. Rudi Brand, Swakopmund, Coastal-Honda, 7
10. Tony Viljoen, Windhoek, Joker’s Pizzeria-Honda, 6
In the supporting programme races in all classes took place. In other action, Michael Barlow achieved three start-to-finish victories after leaving opponents in a lurch, while William Smith and Jay-Em Tredoux battled for 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
Tristan Muller from Okahandja dominated the 65cc Class with very little hindrance, with Joshua Teixeira finishing in 2nd place ahead of Lee-Anne Smith and Matthew Nederlof.
Three starts, three wins, that’s Mark Sternagel. Like a young Apollo he reigned supreme in the 85cc Class – showing Eric Garbers a few finer points on how to negotiate unfriendly obstacles.
With Garbers out of contention after crashing in the 2nd heat, Tristan Muller grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he crossed the finish line in 2nd place
While Pauli Loots trailed in 3rd place.
In the Clubmen’s Class, it looked like Michael Behnke was out to show his intentions very clearly from the onset and confidently won the first two heats but a serious ligament ailment after a crash in the 3rd heat saw him pulling out of the contest.
Angolan rider, Jose Teixeira who has become a regular face in domestic motocross racing was the overall winner, while Frank Steyn and Francois Schoeman had to be satisfied with 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
After some fierce lobbying with the Namibia Motor Sport Federation (NMSF), the Quads-A and B-Classes were finally thrown into the same pot and started together – giving the spectators some added value for their money.
Cee-Anne Greyling left a lasting impression in the Quads Ladies Class – beating Mandy Huysamen for the 1st spot, while Celene Adams shook off some fierce challenge from Maike Bochert to claim 3rd place.