After being delayed from April, the 2020 South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championships finally returns to action with the second round Pepson Plastics National in Pretoria, Saturday 12 September.
The spectator-free races run to strict social distancing protocols at the Rhino Park/Legends MX Track, will also see Club and WOW classes competing, but the focus will be on the national championship action. With clear skies leading up to the weekend, dust is sure to be an even bigger test than the demanding terrain in dry Gauteng, so a difficult day is on the cards.
None of that will however prevent the cream of the SA Cross Country crop from turning up to gain revenge on Lesotho veteran Charan Moore, who stole the season-opening Maseru win, seemingly so long ago in February, now promoted to a full factory Brother Leader Tread KTM.
Brett Swanepoel (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna), Brother Leader Tread KTM duo Bradley Cox and Jarryd Coetzee, Gareth Cole (KTM Durban) and a now fully fit Kenny Gilbert (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna) will lead the chase in Pretoria.
In the classes, Husqvarna trio Wynand Delport, Jaycee Nienaber (Holeshot Racing) and John-Care de Lange and Helderberg Yamaha rider Devan Marais will be keen to take it to Moore and Gilbert in big-bore OR1. Brett Swanepoel is the man to beat in 350cc OR2, where Jarryd Coetzee, Gareth Cole, Ian Rall, Taki Bogiages (Pepson Plastics Motul Husqvarna) and Darren Gray (Trimborn Yamaha) will give that their best shot.
Bradley Cox (Brother Leader Tread KTM) is the lad with the target on his back in 200cc OR3, with Scott Heygate, Davin Cocker, Stefan van Deventer (Mitas Yamaha), Ryan Pelser (Q-Kon EMD KTM) and Erik Merry (KTM) taking aim.
Wade Blaauw leads the thirty-six-plus Senior title chase and he’ll have Hannes Saaijman (Q-Kon EMD KTM), Werner Kennedy (KTM) and Achim Bergmann (Pepson Plastics Motul Husqvarna) among the men to deal with. Wayne Farmer (Biker’s Warehouse Husqvarna) is top dog in over-46 Masters, where Martin Poole (Yamaha), Jan Bernining (KTM) and Iain Pepper (Pepson Plastics Motul Husqvarna) will give chase.
Moving from Masters to Juniors, Dylan Cox (RBS Yamaha) arrives in charge of the High School title race, where Matthew Wilson (MCA Husqvarna), Kyle Mckenzie (Spherical Husqvarna) and Etienne Zybrands (Droomers Yamaha) should be his main rivals.
And last but not least, Cobus Bester (MCA Husqvarna) will take on the likes of the new 85cc Junior Interprovincial Krige van der Merwe (Eddie 2 Race Husqvarna) and Stefan Zybrands (Droomers Yamaha) in the new interprovincial 85cc primary school class.
The far shorter 2020 season means that it is now all to play for over four rapid-fire rounds in two months, so expect no holds barred at the Pepson Plastics Cross Country National in Pretoria. With no spectators allowed, take the opportunity to follow the action live, lap by lap on www.racecontrol.co.za and watch this space for results.