By Staff Reporter
The mud on the various motocross bikes has been barely dusted off and dried up from the recent Astra Moto Cross Track Championship leg, as the country’s leading riders trek further up east to the eastern capital for the Gobabis Motocross Championship this coming Saturday.
Local businessman, Wikus Engelbrecht, has been the driving force behind the Gobabis motocross and is sponsoring the event under the brand of Messrs Big-5
This weekend’s race will be the sixth championship of the season, and early pacesetters are expected to cling onto their positions in their respective divisions, while the riders in the second line will be all out to improve their positions.
Just like in previous races, the aces in the 125cc Class will start together with the protagonists of the Open-Class category, but will be rated separately. The Open-Class favourites Tommy Gous on a fast Zenner-Yamaha and Rainer Becker on his reliable Pupkewitz-Honda are likely to provide the icing on the cake.
Gous won the last ASTRA race on maximum points, while Becker missed out because of business commitments.
If his performance in the last two events is anything to go by – Animal Wise on the Muxima-Kawasaki can easily be considered as hot contender for the Open-Class riders, but he will face stiff competition from the reigning 125cc champion Frank Klosta, who returns to the track after two months of absence from racing as a result of fractured bone in his foot.
The clash amongst the quartet is enough to keep the spectators on the edge of their seats but the riders will not have a field day with veteran rider and reigning Open Class Champion Ronnie Adams, Rudi Brand, Wolfgang Rohe and Tony Viljoen waiting in the wings to spoil the party as they also need the valuable points at stake to stay in contention.
One the other hand, a good number of young riders have improved a lot and held their own in the last five races and riders like Eckhard Hall, Ruhan Gous, Henry O’Kennedy or the new Suzuki-star Jaco Loots should not be taken lightly.
After his perfect racing demonstration at Astra, fans can look forward to another intriguing challenge of the stars by 85cc champion Mark Sternagel on his powerful KTM.
As usual, the highlight of the day will be the gruelling race over 20 minutes plus one lap race, the all-deciding “Big-5 King of the Dirt”
But there are other national classes as well, like the 50cc Class where Michael Barlow wants to remain champion for another year. Competition may be expected from Yoshua Becker, Jay-Em Tredoux or newcomer Roberto Holtz.
In the 65cc Class, Tristan Muller is still on song winning his races at will, however Matthew Nederlof is on the verge of becoming a threat, he has the knack for perfect starts and winning hole-shots whilst he is also getting more confident with every race.
Little Angolan Joshua Teixeira has established himself as the near man in this particular class with regular third places on the rostrum.
And whilst Mark Sternagel is the undisputed “King” in the 85cc Class, Tristan Muller (who races two different classes) has become the undisputed Number Two after he defeated Eric Garbers at Astra, but that scenario could change this weekend with riders demonstrating the same quality.
The situation in the Clubmen’s Class has improved quite tremendously – much to the delight of the organisers GMC, as they expect more than 15 riders in this particular category. The early favourites are Michael Behnke and Jose Teixeira, while Gundolf Lang from Swakopmund, Wiehan Kohne, Frank Steyn, Billy Heigan and Francois Schoeman will all have to battle it out for the third spot on the podium.
The 4-wheelers (Quads) are just as popular amongst the fans as their counterparts on two wheels and sparks are certainly expected to fly after hot favourite Dirkie Baard lost some valuable points because of technical problems in the last Astra Race.
Forerunner in the Quads-A-Class, Jean Venter will be out to collect as many points as possible in his pursuit to win the 2008 Championship and the same applies to Michael Behnke who won the ASTRA-Trophy last time around, with former champion Fanie Steenkamp and upcoming rider Wolfgang R?