Mathew Scholtz (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) secured his first South African title when he won the 2016 SuperGP Championship at Red Star Raceway on Saturday, 29 October. Adolf Boshoff (Neolife Yamaha R6) had a weekend to forget but it didn’t really matter as he secured the 2016 Super600 crown at the previous round.
Scholtz (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) started the weekend with a 29-point lead over Clint Seller (Neolife Yamaha R1) and all he needed to do was keep the defending champion in his sights. Racers, however, don’t think like that and Scholtz claimed pole in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session with Seller in second. Greg Gildenhuys (Kreepy Krauly / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R) completed the from row of the grid.
Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), Garrick Vlok (Diamond Core Drilling Yamaha R1) and Lance Isaacs (LIR Motorrad BMW S1000RR) filled the second row.
There was drama coming onto the back straight on the opening lap when Seller got a bit too close to Scholtz as they entered the long straight. Seller’s front wheel hit the rear wheel of the Yamaha in front and, while Scholtz was able to hang on and regain control of his bike, Seller’s race and championship aspirations ended on the grass on the exit of the corner.
The race then developed into a three-way battle at the front between Scholtz, Gildenhuys and White before Scholtz slowly edged away, going on to take the win and the championship. White got the better of Gildenhuys to take second with Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1) having his best run of the season in fourth. Brent Harran (MVC Marketing Yamaha R1) got the better of a race-long duel with Themba Khumalo (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) to claim fifth.
Race two saw more of the same with Scholtz leading White and Gildenhuys for the opening lap and it looked like the trio would pull away from the chasing pack as they did in the opening heat. It didn’t last however as White, chasing second in the championship, went down. He was able to remount and work his way back through the field to seventh but it was not enough to get the better of the injured Seller in on championship log.
Scholtz was then able to control things from the front, celebrating his first race as a South African champion with a win. Gildenhuys followed him home with Goode going one better than in the opening race, completing the podium.
Isaacs, who missed the first race after damaging his bike in a crash during the morning warm-up, got back on track to finish fourth ahead of AJ Venter (Hygenica Yamaha R1) and David McFadden (RSA Racing BMW S1000 RR).
Isaacs, who had won every SuperMasters heat coming into the final round, spoilt his chances of a perfect points scoring season when he crashed during the morning warm-up session. While he wasn’t badly hurt, his crew couldn’t get his BMW race ready before the first race.
Hendrik de Bruin (RSA Racing Yamaha R1) took full advantage of Isaacs’ misfortune to that the win in the opening heat from Damion Purificati (Amalgam Welding Shop Kawasaki) who just managed to keep Johnny Krieger (Full Throttle BMW S1000 RR) behind him.
Normal service was resumed in race two with Isaacs winning from Purificati and de Bruin. swapped places in the second race.
Boshoff spoilt what could have been a celebration of his Super600 championship when he crashed in qualifying before he set a time leaving him to start at the back of the grid. At the other end, it was Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6) at the head of the field from Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 600) and Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6). Kewyn Snyman (Inex Construction), Dylan Barnard and Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements) filled an all-Kawasaki second row.
While Boshoff was working his way through the field, Odendaal and Baker led the way in the opening race until electrical gremlins slowed Baker. He dropped through the field, eventually crossing the line in twelfth. Odendaal then had an untroubled run to the flag. Boshoff, despite the pain from the right foot he injured in his qualifying accident, was able to make his way through the field to take second ahead of Rudman. Bester got the better of his battle with Barnard to take fourth with Snyman coming home in sixth.
There was drama at the start of race two when Baker’s bike would not start at beginning of the sighting lap. While his crew were able to get it going, it meant he had to start alongside Boshoff at the back of the grid. Odendaal and Rudman contested things at the front end in the opening stages while Baker and Boshoff, who were already in just outside the top six by turn three, worked their way through the field. By the end of the third lap Odendaal had opened up a substantial lead, which he held until the end but Boshoff and Baker were already through the rest of the field and fighting each other for the remaining podium positions. They swapped places throughout the remaining nine laps until just a couple of corners from the end when Boshoff pulled off the circuit with fuel problems. Baker took second with Rudman completing the podium. Bester and Barnard were again fourth and fifth with William Friend (Kawasaki ZX6) in sixth.
Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction) needed just third place in the opening SuperJunior heat to wrap up the 2016 title but his rivals were not going to make it easy for him. CJ Hackart (Firequip / Elite Car Park) grabbed pole position from Luca Coccioni with Liebenberg on the outside of the first row. Doninic Doyle (Techron Systems), Chase Hulscher (EXIS Engineering) and Aaron Heidemann rounded out the top six.
In the opening race Hackart and Liebenberg were within a couple of bike lengths of each other in the early stages of race one before Hackart pulled away to take the win. Liebenberg’s second place was enough for him to claim the 2016 championship while Doyle took the final podium position.
Race two was again a duel between Hackart and Liebenberg although this time the new champion took the win. Doyle was again in third.
A third place in the opening heat followed by sixth in the second gave Thomas Brown (REHAB Racing Ducati Panigele) enough points to secure the 2016 BOTTS title. Johan van der Merwe (Jnr) (Ducati 1199) took the first heat with Brian Bontekoning (Jaguar Power Products Ducati Panigale) taking the flag in heat two.