By Staff Reporter
The Namibian Motocross circus moves down to sea level this weekend, when the 4th leg of the National Championship race will be hosted under the official title “Obeco Motocross Thrills”.
The sanitary and tiles business Obeco is sponsoring this particular event for the very first time.
The racing track is situated approximately10 kilometres north of Swakopmund, opposite the salt fields, and members of the Coastal Racing Club, under the guidance of Chris Hall, have built a wonderful track, which is expected to attract thousands of motocross enthusiasts this coming long weekend.
All eyes will be certainly fixed on the protagonists of the Open/125cc Class, where Honda rider Rainer Becker already boasts three overall wins.
However, it’s only fair to mention that these wins were achieved with a considerable amount of luck, since his biggest rival Tommy Gous fell victim of technical hiccups in all three races.
However, things will be slightly different on Saturday, with veteran rider Zenner-Yamaha technically in peak condition while Gous is highly charged up to steal the show.
Still, excitement is doubtlessly on the cards for this duel between Becker and Gous.
Elsewhere, the reigning champion Ronnie Adams (Suzuki) is itching for a piece of action as well and could become a real party spoiler.
Noteworthy is the presence of Sascha Becker who returns to action after spending a considerable time on the sidelines through a spate of injuries, but the leading pack will have to watch out for Wolfgang Rohe, who has been on song this season.
The Kawasaki rider has been improving quite steadily and can certainly not be ruled out for a place on the podium at the end of the race.
The riders will be better advised to look out for “local ‘boytjie’ Rudi Brand, who played a major hand in the construction of the track.
Brand should have thorough knowledge of every square meter of the race track and various obstacles and could use home ground advantage to the maximum while his fellow competitors are better advised to underestimate the coastal rider at their own peril.
Tony Viljoen returns to his happy hunting grounds and could prove quite a handful if his past achievements at coastal events are anything to go by.
Past experience has shown that riders in the 125cc class are always struggling to adapt to conditions in the deep desert sand and there should be no exception this time around.
The fastest rider in this particular class Frank Klosta is currently nursing a broken foot and will be a notable absentee this weekend – paving the way for Henry O’Kennedy to show that his masterful racing at the Gallina race track was no fluke.
However, his toughest opponents Jaco Loots and Ruhan Gous are also on song while Eckhard Hall, a local favourite in the 125cc Class, could prove a very tricky customer on home turf.
Heiko Hennes on his KTM is always a marvel to watch and certainly belongs in the categories of riders who thoroughly enjoy riding in deep desert sand, so don’t be surprised if he takes the cake.
Scotsman Richard Reid’s eagerly awaited entry remains in doubt, while the pair of Arno Engels and Brannigan Wise are crossing their fingers as they await the doctor’s approval after suffering injuries at the Gallina race track.
The little ones in the 50cc Class ride will not take a back seat either with national championship points at stake.
After a couple of mixed results last year, Michael Barlow still holds a tight grip again in this particular class despite having to play second fiddle to William Smith in the last couple of races.
Apart from the duo, another episode is likely to unfold between Jay-Em Tredoux and Yoshua Becker. Tristan Muller is the absolute star in the 65cc Class and Joshua Teixeira is another emerging rider so fans can expect fierce competition between him and Matthew Nederlof.
The 85cc Class is ruled by Mark Sternagel, while Eric Garbers and Tristan Muller will battle it out for 2nd place. However, Pauli Loots and Schalk Louw, coastal boy, could use home ground advantage to the maximum.
The Clubmen’s Class has undergone an inevitable facelift after a field of 15 riders had spectators on the edge of their seats during the last leg race at Gallina.
Barring injuries, Angolan rider Jose Teixeira, together with Michael Behnke, Frank Steyn and Francois Schoeman are the favourites to grace the podium at the conclusion of the race.
From two wheels to four wheels, riders in the various 4-wheeler classes are certainly just as popular as their counterparts in the motocross division and sparks are expected to fly in this particular division.
Walvis Bay rider Dirkie Baard has been dominating proceedings in the Quads-A Class but could meet some resistance from Michael Behnke and Jean Venter this time around with former champion Fanie Steenkamp also in the mix.
In the Quads-B Class Eugene Slippers still pulls the strings but could face some stiff competition from Ecki Spoerer, Gogo van Wyk and Gideon van Sittert.
Amongst the Quads Ladies – another duel is on the cards between Cee-Anne Greyling and Mandy Huysamen, while Celene Adams and Maike Bochert are left to pick up the crumbs for 3rd place.
There was a time when the Clubmen’s Quads was the strongest class, but that has changed unfortunately. The favourites here are without a doubt the trio of Jaime Reneckle, Nokkie Maree and Louw Greyvenstein.
In the Mini-Quads Class, young Joane Steenkamp has very little peers when it comes to negotiating her way around the not-so-friendly obstacles, while Jacques Maree, the only male entrant in this particular discipline, will be out to make his presence felt at the expense of Sune Garbers and Paige Muller.