National champions finalised their titles at a tough and testing Rysmierbult 200, the final round of the 2014 SA National Off-road Motorcycle and Quad Championships that took place this past Saturday (27 September) outside Ventersdorp in the North-West Province, but there were disappointment for some competitors who will have to try again to claim titles.

Baragwanath Rysmier

Hot, windy and dry conditions together with a testing 180 kilometres race added to the tension with competitors feeling the pressure from the start – they could only relax after receiving the chequered flag and having a look at the final results.

Competitors in the quad category tackled the race first and it was Brian Baragwanath (Team Rhide SA Yamaha) who claimed his sixth consecutive overall and Q1 Class Championship victories to ensure his titles for 2014. He was followed by his team-mate, Hannes Saaijman, who is also the Q2 Class winner for the year (he rounds the season off in the third place overall). Jaco Moller (PS Extreme ATV Tzaneen Yamaha) finished on the podium for the third time this season (he was second behind Baragwanath in Q1) and was followed by André du Plessis (Yamaha); Enrico da Silva (Suzuki); André Park (Yamaha); Franco Annandale (Boesman Racing Suzuki) who was also second behind Saaijman in Q2; Berné Bester (NUTS Racing / Century Civils Yamaha) and Franco’s brother and team-mate, Hannes, who rounded off the Q2 podium.

In the motorcycle category Louwrens Mahoney (Brother KTM) took his fourth overall and OR1 Championship (Open Class) victory this year to ensure the OR1 Championship title. He shared the podium with his Botswana team-mate, Ross Branch, who finished the race in third place overall and in OR1. The Proudly Bidvest Yamaha rider, Kenny Gilbert, was sandwiched between the two Brother KTM riders and his fifth overall and OR1 podium position resulted in him winning the overall standings and keeping his Number One plate for the second consecutive year.

Tim Young (Kargo Racing Yamaha) was fourth overall and in OR1 with the newly crowned OR3 (200cc) Class Champion, Louw Schmidt (Brother KTM) rounding off the top five overall and in OR1.

Louwrens Mahoney
Louwrens Mahoney

There was much drama in the OR2 (250cc) Class Championship where the class leader, Tyrone Miller (Brother KTM) and Jaycee Nienaber (Manhand Ridgeway Yamaha) were in a tight battle for the title. Miller crashed early in the race, but he finished the race in ninth place in OR2 despite being concussed and injured. Nienaber dehydrated, but he managed to win the class (he was sixth overall). Miller and Nienaber finished the season with the same amount of points in OR2 and the title will go to Miller as he has claimed more class victories than Nienaber.

Also in the top 10 were Jarryd Coetzee ( Honda) who took the OR3 Class victory; Nienaber’s team-mate, Roan Lindsay who was second in OR2 and eighth overall; Hein Jnr van Niekerk (RAD Moto KTM) who rounded off the OR2 podium and finished ninth overall with another Botswana rider, Dartagnan Lobjoit (Yamaha) rounding off the top 10. He was fourth in OR2 with Ruan Smith (RAD Moto KTM) fifth in this class.

Bernard McGee (McGee Lydenburg Yamaha) finished second in OR3 and was followed by Taki Bogiages (Bert Smith All Stars Racing Powered by RAD KTM); Wilhelm Schonfeldt (Helderberg Yamaha) and Ian Rall (KTM).

The Senior Class championships were tightly contested in both the motorcycle and quad categories where the leaders had not secured the titles before the Rysmierbult 200 event. The class leader on two wheels, Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen (Brother KTM) had to settle for the third place at the event due to mechanical problems, but he secured his first Senior Class Championship. Pieter Holl (Bert Smith Racing KTM*) took his second race victory (he finished 11th overall) and was followed by Wayne Farmer (Roost KTM ECS Security) with Justin Broughton (Kawasaki) fourth and Ian Venter (RAD Moto KTM) fifth.

On four wheels Russell Ferreira (PS Diamond Trailers Honda) claimed the Senior Class championship title after winning this class for the second consecutive race despite having problems with suspension set-up and losing time with a flat tyre. His team-mate, Stuart Freeman (Yamaha) was halted in his tracks by a mielie cob that got wedged between the sprocket and the chain forcing the chain off the sprocket. He lost a lot of time, but eventually managed to finish third in the class after another team-mate, Kim-Leigh Ferreira (Honda) – Ferreira’s wife – who was busy competing in the Combined Ladies Class Championship, rendered some assistance. Ted Barbier (Team Rhide SA Yamaha) was second with Bryan Gallop (Yamaha) fourth.

Adrian Storm (Automation Products Racing KTM) was the only motorcycle entrant in the Master Class and he also won this championship on two wheels. On four wheels George Twigge ( Yamaha) had to just finish the race to win his first Master Class title. He settled for the second place behind Roxy dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki) to ensure his title. Peter Schenk (Team Thesens Generators Honda) again lost time and positions with a flat tyre, but he finished third at Rysmierbult and was followed by his team-mates Milton Thesen (Yamaha) and Roger Barnes (Polaris).

In the new High School Class Championships Keenan Hammon (KTM) was the only finisher on four wheels and won this class for the first time. A furious battle continued in this class in the motorcycle category where Berné’s younger brother and team-mate, Eduan Bester, had a safe race and claimed his third victory of the season and the first High School Class Championship in the national series. Brendon Fourie (Fast Powersport Kawasaki) fought back after not finishing the previous event to finish the race in second place and finish as the runner-up in the championship. Alastair Drennan (Roost KTM ECS Security) was third followed by Dean Lindsay (Manhand Ridgeway Yamaha); Nicholas Mauerberger (PS Diamond Trailers Yamaha); Dion Oosthuizen (KTM) and Tyrone Flanagan (KTM).

A record amount of 25 ladies started the Rysmierbult 200 in the Combined Ladies Class Championship and a few new names and faces stepped onto the podiums. In the quad category, Liezel Barnard (Barnard Vervoer Can-Am) took the victory ahead of Chardri Monk (Team Thesens Generators Yamaha) and Wilmarie Moller (PS Extreme ATV Tzaneen Honda) with three more ladies completing the tough 180 kilometre race – Ferreira was fourth (it was the first time she finished the full national race distance) with first timers Annelien Jansen van Vuuren (Barnard Vervoer Polaris) fifth and Ruchell Kriel (Barnard Vervoer Yamaha) sixth.

There were seven finishers in the Ladies Motorcycle Class where Toni Jardine (Yamaha) took the victory ahead of veteran motocross and supermoto rider, Cindy Porobich (Barnard Vervoer KTM) with Taye Perry (Bert Smith Racing KTM*) rounding off the podium. Edwina Lutch (Yamaha) finished fourth with newcomers Tanya Koyikas (KTM) fifth and Dayna Nienaber (Barnard Vervoer Yamaha) seventh despite being bruised after an earlier crash. Elaine de Sa (PS Diamond Trailers KTM) was sixth.

Jardine won the Combined Ladies Class of the Rysmierbult 200 event with Barnard and Monk rounding off the podium. Barnard however is the first ever Combined Ladies Class Champion for the year.

Youngster Craig Wishart (PS Diamond Trailers Husqvarna) was leading the Silver Class Challenge before the event and was entwined in a season long battle with second-placed Shaun Mostert (KTM). Electrical problems forced him to throw in the towel early during the race and a sixth place by Mostert was enough for him to take the title. The class was won by BJ Scholtz who was followed by his McGee Yamaha Lydenburg team-mates Paul Calitz and Craig Gregory with Bradley Nortje (Manhand Ridgeway Yamaha) and Riaan Prinsloo (McGee Yamaha Lydenburg) rounding off the top five.

On four wheels, Karl Rost (Honda) had some luck (he had the title wrapped up before the race!) as some bad luck struck at the Rysmierbult event – he had to call it a day due to mechanical problems at Rysmierbult).

There was some bad luck for a few quad competitors including David Hollis (Yamaha) who dehydrated; Tony dos Santos (Factory Racing Suzuki) who experienced fuel problems; and Jacques Struwig (Boesman Racing Suzuki) who was lying second overall and in the Senior Class when he also experienced engine problems. In the motorcycle category Dillon Inggs (Kawasaki) also experienced mechanical problems while former Senior Class champion, Guy Henley (KTM) just did not have a good day