RideFast January 2020


SA's Best Motorcycle Magazine!

Pic by Beam Productions

JANUARY 2020 RSA R35.00


9 772075 405004






Aprilia is back in SA and we test their new offerings to the SA market.



Rossi & Hamilton Swop

Machinery For A Day.



At the MotoGP Career of Jorge Lorenzo.




There have been very few times in my life where

I have been left speechless, but after the support

that was shown at our annual SA Riders Meet and

Greet event held on Saturday the 7th of December,

I was not only left speechless, but also with eyes

filled with tears of joy and pride.

The event, which was held at Ridgeway Racebar

once again, was a huge hit and as you can see by

the pictures, lots of fun was had by all. Some of

SA’s best riders came together to support not only

myself, but also RideFast magazine and more

importantly my family.

Brad Binder, Darryn Binder, Shez Morais and

Mathew Scholtz were all present, we even had a

guest appearance from top UK rider and Moto3

star Tom Booth Amos. To these guys, whom other

than Tom I have known for many a year now

and am honoured and privileged to call my good

friends, I cannot say thank you enough for all you

do for me. This event was put on not only to give

the SA public a chance to meet and greet their

heroes, but also to help raise some funds for my

gorgeous daughter Nova Layn Portman, who was

born with Down Syndrome and 3 holes in her

heart and will be going for open heart surgery on

the 14th of January to fix the problems.

All the riders donated not only their time, but also

some of their riding gear, which along with some

other very exclusive memorabilia I managed to

round up at my recent trip to the Valencia GP, was

auctioned off on the night.

The Voice of Choice and a man I consider so much

more than just a friend, Mr Greg Moloney, was the

MC for the night and there is no one on this planet I

would rather have representing myself, my family

and RideFast. Greg, I thank you from the bottom of

my heart. You pushed the envelope and squeezed

every cent out of the massive crowd that came

out in support. Over R240k was raised, which left

me and my family both humbled and in tears on

the night.

Myself and my family cannot thank all who

attended and bought items enough for all the

support. It is overwhelming to know the support

we have and knowing that we have so much love

out there makes all the tough times that much

easier. We will always let Nova, and my boy Trey

Knox know that they have the biggest family in the

world, with aunties and uncles all over the place.

We will forever be grateful!!!

Ok, I have to go wipe more tears out of my eyes

now. Again, thank you all for everything and

for making my dreams of being so involved in

the motorcycle industry come true. I value your

support more than you will ever know and will

continue working as hard as possible to keep

bringing you the best magazine in the world!

A final thank you must go out to Gerrit and Daniella

from Beam Productions for always being by my

side and helping me produce this world class

magazine! Happy new year all, may you all be

blessed with health and good wealth for 2020 and

beyond! Cheers, Rob Portman.

A packed Ridgeway Racebar...

My gorgeous wife Amy and daughter Nova Layn.

Greg having a chat on stage with Shez.

Me and my cool dude Trey Knox.

Brad explaining something to Greg...

Brad with my buddy Cambeul du Preez.

The Voice of Choice in action...

Daz and Tom getting some boob action...


Rob Portman



Glenn Foley



Sean Hendley



071 684 4546






011 979 5035


Sheridan Morais

Brad Binder

Darryn Binder

Gerrit Erasmus

Eugene Liebenberg

Niel Philipson

Greg Moloney

Daniella Kerby

Michael Powell

Brian Cheyne

Donovan Fourie

Shaun Portman

Mat Durrans

Copyright © RideFast Magazine: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,

or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, articles, or other methods, without the

prior written permission of the publisher.



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We first saw Husqvarna’s

Norden 901 revelaed at the

EICMA Show late last year and

then we showed it off for the

first time in our December issue

where we asked if Husqvarna

could please put the “concept”

into production as it is very

much needed/wanted here in

SA.. It impressed us right from

the beginning, and we’re not the

only ones. The Norden got such

great feedback that the guys at

Husqvarna already announced

the series production for 2021.

Husqvarna Norden 901 is

the Swedish brand’s first big

adventure bike and completes

the street range of bikes for the

brand alongside the VITPILEN

701 and SVARTPILEN 701 neo

retro-looking beauties.

Incase you didn’t read up about

this gorgeous new Swedish

beauty, here’s a quick recap;

The Norden 901 has the 889.5

cc parallel-twin engine from its

orange brother, the KTM 890

Duke R. On the Austrian bike,

the engine puts out 125 HP and

99 NM of torque. This time,

the engine will be modified for

better use on trail road and any

other adventure landscape.

Still, the power output should

be over 105 horsepower, since

Husqvarna announced “classleading”


The suspension, as you might

have guessed, it’s produced by

WP and the Husqvarna NORDEN

901 has a 21“ wheel on the front

and a 19” wheel at the rear.

Nothing about the suspension

travel, of course, but as you

might figure, it should go beyond

the 220 mm mark. Furthermore,

the Swedish brand promises

to deliver with the new bike

comfort and handling in a light

package for its customers.

The bike has spoked wheels,

a modern TFT dash that looks

like a smartphone and the usual

adv-bike features such as mudguard,

handguards, engineshield

and so on. The round

headlight reminds us of the


701 neo-retro motorcycles.

We like it and we like also the

swingarm that looks like the

one on the KTM 790 Adventure.

The screen looks large enough

and might offer good wind

protection. One aspect that

was made for gravel and mud

roads are the bars that have a

high position. The seat is narrow

and from our eye, it seems to

be quite hard, so we can’t wait

to see the comfort level of the

Husqvarna NORDEN 901 on a

long adventure ride. The exhaust

is stylish and beautifully made,

a touch of class that Husqy has

been known for.

The design has a retro-style

touch, and the fairings are

perfectly hiding the low fuel

tank, similar to the one on the

790 adventure. So the Norden

901 must have at least 20 litres

of fuel.

The Husqvarna Norden 901 will

be a rival for Honda’s new Africa

Twin, so we’re curious about the

price. We test the new offering

from Honda later in this issue

and can’t wait to swing our leg

over the new Husqvarna Norden

901... yes, we are excited about

testing an adventure bike, who

would have thought?






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Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective clothing and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations!

The illustrated vehicles may vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost. Photo: F. Lackner

All the NEWS proudly brought

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Ducati is milking its new series of V

engines. After making its way in the

Panigale and the all-new Streetfighter,

the V4 engine will land in the Multistrada

sometime in 2020. Ducati followed up

with the introduction in October 2019

of the V2, the half V4, introduced like its

big brother in a downsized version of

the Panigale. Considering the road map

Ducati’s V engines are following, saying

that the company is likely to come up with

a V2 version of the Streetfighter is almost

too easy a deduction. But yeah. Ducati is

likely to come up with a V2 version of the


The folks at Motorcycle News got to chat

with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali once

again. The guy is notorious for being an

open book when it comes to discussing

the future of his company and once again,

he delivers.

Our British colleagues asked Domenicali

about how the Streetfighter V4 can seem

daunting to certain riders, he explained

that this is what the Panigale V2 has

been designed for: to counteract that

perception and offer a model that looks

and feels more accessible. Of course, he

would like to apply a similar formula to

the naked lineup. “We would like to have

naked bikes in different categories, too,”

he commented. “We are thinking of a very

interesting new naked model that will

come sooner rather than later.”

With words like these, it’s hard not to

draw lines between the Streetfighter

and the V2. After all, Ducati didn’t limit

the use of its new four-cylinder engine

to the Panigale: it took full advantage of

the engine’s potential. With that in mind,

it doesn’t really make sense that the V2

be limited to the Pani, especially not with

the gorgeous Streetfighter model the

company just unveiled. The pairing of the

nake sportbike and the downsized engine

seems written in the sky.

Whether the naked V2 will be a

Streetfighter or something else remains

to be seen but considering the new model

is pretty much a stripped-down Panigale

and there already is a Panigale V2, it looks

like the most logical way to proceed.

Now, what we are really hoping to see

is Ducati embrace the middle-weight

adventure segment and follow up with

a Multistrada V2 but if that’s ever to

happen, it probably won’t be for a while.

There’s a Multistrada V4 and likely a

Streetfighter V2 coming first.




For 2018, Ducati gave its V-twin-powered

supersport, the Panigale 1299, a proper

sendoff by replacing it and continuing the

Pani legacy with a shiny new V4 engine

and model. The new Panigale V4 upped

the ante on a number of fronts, including

power, and introduced a new fourcylinder

platform that allowed Ducati

to get creative and introduce a flock of

V4-based models. As with the previous

generation of the Pani, only one version

of the high-performance model was not

enough. Six iterations of the model are

currently listed on the Ducati Website

and there could be a seventh about to be

added to the list.

Photographers have spotted a Ducati

test mule being tested, sporting a few

subtle but familiar features, leading

us to believe that the Superleggera is

making a comeback. Ducastistas have

been wondering whether and when a V4

Superleggera would be introduced and it

looks like the answer to that is “soon”.

At first glance, the mule looks almost

identical to the Panigale V4 R introduced

earlier this year, sporting the same

aerodynamic winglets and gills. Upon

closer inspection, however, we notice a

few minute difference, starting with the

carbon fibre fairing.

In some of the pictures, we notice that

the nose of the bike has that typical

carbon fibre sheen—a sensible choice

of material considering the whole point

of the Superleggera is to be significantly

lighter than the entry-level Panigale. For

comparison, the previous generation

Panigale 1299 S weighed in at 419 lb while

its Superleggera counterpart tipped the

scale at a minuscule 167 kg.

Another clue that indicates that the

model being tested is seemingly a

Superleggera is the wheels. The rims—

supposedly also made of carbon fibre—

are the exact same design as the ones

used on the 1299. Finally, the exhaust tips

are made of titanium (if the “Titanium”

engraved on the right-hand side muffler

is any indication). With the addition of

the Superleggera nameplate, we could

potentially expect a slight increase in

output—it was at least the case with the

1299 generation.

While the new model is still being tested,

it looks just about ready for production,

which could mean that there’s a chance the

company will unveil the bike along with the

rest of its lineup at the end of October.

Pictures and source MCN.


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Delighted children at the Liqui

Moly Superhero Academy in

Boksburg, Gauteng, enjoyed

a special treat on Wednesday

27 November when Liqui Moly

team members, customers

and partners including MAXXIS

Tyres South Africa arrived to

spread a little early Christmas

joy. The little ones enjoyed

games, unwrapped personal

gifts with great excitement and

showed off the soccer skills

they’ve learnt through Soccer

Starz. Inflatable slip-andslides

provided splashy thrills

on a hot Gauteng day.

The Liqui Moly Superhero

Academy is a passion project

for Liqui Moly Managing

Director Melicia Labuschagne

and her team. “Children from

communities struggling with

unemployment, poverty and

drug addiction face enormous

challenges through no fault

of their own. It’s up to us to

protect and nurture these

young lives – they are the

future. That’s why at Liqui

Moly we will always focus

on supporting children. The

Superhero Academy is the

heart of Liqui Moly, it’s a place

where we can give back, invest

in children and bring hope.”

Opened in February 2018, the

Liqui Moly Superhero Academy

has since been changing the

lives of vulnerable children

from the broader homeless

community who receive

shelter, food and medical care

at the New Beginnings Care

Centre, a rehabilitation and

support centre for homeless

families. In collaboration with

Joint Aid Management (JAM),

the Liqui Moly team completely

transformed the original

on-site crèche at the Centre

from dilapidated garden sheds

to a brand new environment

filled with toys and equipment

where children can grow and

learn in safety.

The school is now a safe haven

for 70 children, including the

crèche pre-schoolers and

after-care schoolchildren

right up to high school. Leigh

Scheepers, principal of the

Liqui Moly Superhero Academy,

says “Without the care and

commitment of Liqui Moly, this

would not have been a school.

It’s amazing how these fertile

young minds can thrive in the

right environment. With the

help of our sponsors, we’re

working hard to uplift the

entire community, starting with

little ones from three months

old right up to matric students.”

Beyond the initial R1.3

million revamp, Liqui Moly

has continued to contribute

to ongoing costs. “We help

with teacher salaries, a

feeding scheme, psychiatric

counselling and soccer training.

We also help to maintain the

school and respond to any

other needs. Of course, we also

support them with all the Liqui

Moly oils and lubricants for

their vehicles and equipment,”

says Labuschagne. “It’s so

rewarding to see the changes

here – from heartbreak to


Liqui Moly also gets partners

and customers involved.

“We’re fortunate that so many

partners of ours that have

seen the opportunity to be

able to invest and add value to

the centre. We are so grateful

for every partner of ours that

has gone into their pockets

and found ways they can give

back,” says Labuschagne.

“MAXXIS Tyres have generously

contributed to the cause and

will also donate tyres for the

vehicles of the centre as well

as sand for the sandpit. Other

contributions and donations

from our teams in the 94.7

Cycle Challenge, will help us

to add new metal playground

equipment in the new year.

The Christmas party has been

made possible by investments

from a number of different

partners. We really appreciate

every contribution.”

Going forward, Labuschagne

says Liqui Moly would like to

further develop the play area

and classrooms so that the

children can develop in sports

and academically. “It’s about

adding value and giving these

children resources and the

right educational environment

so they can have the best

chance of success.”

Liqui Moly’s commitment to

caring for children doesn’t stop

there. The organisation also

partners with Carte Blanche

Making a Difference (MAD)

Trust to ensure children have

access to the specialised

paediatric ICU equipment

they need at the Tyger Valley

Hospital in Cape Town.


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The Supermotoland Husqvarna race

team out in Spain is very pleased to

announce the signing of 18 year old

South African racer Jay Baxendale

who will be fronting the teams youth

assault on the Spanish Supermoto

championship in the SM Road class.

The talented South African racer

won the KZN junior X country

championship, before moving up

into road racing and becoming a

front runner in the KZN road race and

supermoto series.

For 2020 he will be relocating to

Europe in order to pursue his road

race and supermoto career in the

prestigious and ultra competitive

Spanish Supermoto championship.

Both Jay and the Supermotoland

Husqvarna race team are very

excited about the prospect of

bringing another international

racer into the Spanish supermoto

championship on board the

awesome Husqvarna Motorcycles

FS450 supermoto bike.

The signing of Jay is yet another

success for the Supermotoland

Husqvarna motorcycles race teams

efforts to bring young talent into the

Spanish supermoto championship,

which is being seen as an alternative

route into top flight road racing as

2015 SM Road champion and current

MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona has


Keep up to date with Jay on his

facebook and Instagram pages as

he continues his winter training

and preparations before he moves

to Europe on the ultimate racing

adventure. Maybe give him a like and

follow to support him on his way.

Check out this short video of him

training on his road race and

supermoto bikes in S.A.

#supermotos #RFME

#S1GP #husqvarnafs450



#racingadventure #trainlikeapro

#KZN #KZNRRC #raceschool





Collecting original parts from the bikes that

compete in the MotoGP and SBK championships

has been many Ducatista’s dream... one that has

now come true.

As of December 2019, the Ducati Memorabilia

project will be giving fans of the Bologna-based

bike manufacturer the chance to purchase

certified parts from bikes used in recent years

by MotoGP and SBK team riders. The first batch

of official Ducati components consists of conrods,

crankshafts, camshafts and pistons, all

personally certified by Claudio Domenicali and

Gigi Dall’Igna. To enhance their uniqueness and

originality further, all parts come complete with a

technical description and info on the relative rider

and world championship season.

Memorabilia items can be purchased at the

Ducati Store in Borgo Panigale, at Ducati

dealerships and, from 2020, also online at www.

ducati.com. Each piece is protected in a plexiglass

display case and comes with a certificate of


Availability is limited, making this a not-to-bemissed

opportunity for Ducatisti and other bike

enthusiasts to become proud desmodromic

Memorabilia owners.


All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS


Bike Kings exploded onto the

market a year or two ago when

they took over the shop at Red

Star Raceway, shortly followed

by their mega store on Lynwood

Rd in Pretoria East. A short

while later they opened their

Cape Town store, which has

just recently moved to bigger

premises in Paarden Eiland.

So, it was no real surprise to

find them opening a new store

in Sandton in the same building


The store is well laid out with

easy to find sections for road,

adventure and dirt biking

clothing, protective wear and

accessories. They carry all the

popular brands in most sizes,

colours and styles and if they do

not have exactly what you are

looking for they will get it in post

haste - either from one of their

other stores or from the local

suppliers. The team under the

leadership of Louis Kraukamp,

the big boss, and store manager

Shannon Tarr are friendly and

efficient and up to date on

their knowledge of most of the

products available on the market

today. They carry a wide range of

parts and accessories for most

makes of motorcycles, however,

as a courtesy to RAD KTM, they

do not have a workshop or carry

any KTM goodies.

RAD KTM still handles the

workshop and will work on

most makes of bikes out there.

RAD also still stocks all the KTM

Powerwear and Powerparts.

And, of course, there is the

full KTM lineup on their well

displayed showroom floor.

Both Louis and Miguel, (big boss

at RAD), say they joined forces

to offer the biking community

in JHB as a whole a better

shopping experience, they can

now cater for bikes and bikers

right across the board.

To make things even easier, they

also cater for the cyber shopper

at www.bikekings.co.za and

can deliver countrywide within

72 hours. Give them a call on

011 234 5007 and ask to be put

through to accessories or drop

in for a visit at No.1 Wall street,

corner of Witkoppen and Rivonia

roads in Sandton, just off the

highway or drop the boss an

email on louis@bikekings.co.za

Pictured above: Louis, Carolene and Shannon.

Below that is a pic of some very famous peeps who

recently visited the RAD KTM store - our Rob Portman

with Brad Binder, Miguel de Waal and Darryn Binder.


All the NEWS proudly brought

to you by HJC HELMETS




A short while ago an email arrived from a very

proud Dad of a young marvel on a motorbike,

who at the very tender age of 5 years old

is already creating waves in the SA racing

scene. We are one hundred percent behind

developmental racing and love inspirational

stories like this. The email reads as follows,

(verbatim – copy & paste):

“Good day, My name is Zenzele Mafokate

father of a 5 year old motorbike marvel

Bohlale Mafokate who is involved in short

circuit and motocross racing.

We call him Littleman#110 as he is the

youngest short circuit racer. The number 110

is his race number derived from his date of

birth, which is 1st October. It all started as a

father and son riding together on weekends.

He then developed the love for racing as I am

always watching all forms of motor racing

on TV as an ex-racer myself.

He started racing in August 2018 and has so

far managed to secure 5 podium finishes (2

in motocross and 3 in short circuit racing). His

success so far has been largely due to some

contributions from friends and family.

He currently uses a Yamaha PW50 bike for

both circuit and motocross racing.

My request is to feature him in your

magazine to attract more youngsters to this

lovely sport.

Hope to hear from you, Regards.

Zenzele Mafokate”

Zenzele, thank you for your letter and thank

you for sharing your love of motorcycling with

your son and encouraging him to get really

involved in the sport. We look forward to

following his career and hope to see him on

the international stage in the near future. We

truly do hope that more parents are inspired

by you and your son to participate and

compete in this great sport.



Brought to you by




AFTER 2020



Johann Zarco will pilot a Ducati

Desmosedici GP19 in the 2020 MotoGP

World Championship as he officially joins

Reale Avintia Racing.

The Frenchman is understood to

have signed directly with the Italian

manufacturer, which will see increased

backing and technical assistance brought

to the independent squad.

The one-year deal comes as a lifeline for

Zarco, who quit his two-year contract

with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing not

even one season in this year before

scoring a fill-in ride at LCR Honda for the

final three rounds.

“I am very pleased to officially announce

my signature with Ducati for 2020

season in MotoGP category racing in

the Reale Avintia Racing team,” Zarco

commented. “My left ankle is recovering



KTM executive director Stefan Pierer has

made public the Moto2 manufacturer’s

departure, justified by the lack of qualified

personnel and the investment in MotoGP.

In the words of the official, who was

pleased with the riders present in MotoGP

and who present solutions in the future,

come to an end to rumors that the

departure was due to financial reasons.

‘Money isn’t a bottleneck at all. But

if you try to win in three classes, the

good technicians are gone. We didn’t

have good enough technicians for

Moto2. That’s why we decided to move

out of Moto2 and split up the existing

technicians – for Moto3 and MotoGP’, the

leader told quoted by SpeedWeek. Pierer

looks to the future beyond the next: ‘We

well, I can enjoy now my winter time

having rest with family and training again

very soon.”

Team owner Raul Romero added: “I am

really happy and excited with the arrival

of a great rider like Johann Zarco to

our team from the hand of Ducati. This

further strengthens the growth of the

team after extending the contract with

the manufacturer of Borgo Panigale,

making a leap of quality in terms of

material by becoming a satellite team.

“All this package will allow to reflect in

the circuits the effort of the structure in

the last years. We hope to see Johann

and Tito assiduously in the top 10 and

become a reference team soon. Finally,

we would like to thank all our sponsors

for their efforts in recent years, without

them this would not have been possible.”

are planning the year 2021 and 2022,

continuing with our four young MotoGP

riders. In addition we have Jorge Martin

in Moto2 as a reserve. We prefer to put

the money on the bike’.

The Honda Racing Corporation team and oil

company Repsol may go their separate ways

from the end of next season.

The parties have been working together

since 1995, very successfully in the middle.

15 world premier class riders and 180 Grand

Prix wins are just a sample of the success of

the partnership, which later this year alone

in the premier class won the title of rider,

team and manufacturer. The German and

Japanese press report that the partnership

deal has its day counted, with Repsol leaving

the scene because of Honda’s alleged interest

in extending another collaboration, this time

with Shell.It is estimated that for the new

sponsor to reap HRC’s acceptance it will have

to enter an amount similar to what Repsol

currently has at a budget of between 12 and

15 million euros.





Alex Márquez is Jorge Lorenzo’s successor to

Repsol Honda, as announced about a month

ago. The Moto2 rider was seen as one of the

strong options, along with Johann Zarco,

and Cal Crutchlow was also mentioned. But

according to Lucio Cecchinello, HRC originally

wanted to bet on Takaaki Nakagami.

Speaking to Sky Sports MotoGP, the

monegasque leader revealed that Honda

had plans first to join the Japanese with

Marc Márquez, leaving Alex Marquez on

the satellite team. However, according to

Cecchinello, Honda’s bet eventually fell to the

#73 after LCR Honda appealed not to change

its line-up: “We’re very happy to continue

Crutchlow and Nakagami. Our sponsors fully

support this project. For us, making changes

would have been problematic, especially with

a newcomer. HRC considered our request and

decided to put Álex in Jorge’s place. Initially

they considered putting Alex alongside Cal,

but then HRC decided to back down.”





What do fans know?

Well, a lot… you only need to

glance across any MotoGP event

and feast your eyes on the sea

of yellow – Rossi’s signature

colour. Every round… even in

Spain where they have umpteen

other riders, including Marquez,

to support.

Rossi made his reputation on

the back of an era when minimal

electronics made slights of

hand on a motorcycle more

influential, overtaking was more

aggressive and personalities

were less curated by nervous PR

teams. MotoGP is a show and

Rossi was (and in many ways

still is) the ringleader.

In terms of results, Marquez’s

record speaks for itself and if

your definition of GOAT is purely

statistical, it seems we won’t

have long to wait until the sport

has a new all-time #1.

But a combination of outrageous

talent at such a young age

coupled to a team and machine

that works very much in his orbit

year in, year out raises questions

as to whether he can only ever

become the unequivocal GOAT if

he gravitates out of it…

We found this article

by Ollie Barstow from

Visdordown.com so

interesting we just had to

publish it.

Early on in December 2019,

Visordown ran a poll asking

whether their fans thought

Marc Marquez was the

veritable GOAT – aka. the

Greatest of all-time – in

MotoGP and more than 1.3k

fans responded… with a

majority ‘no’.

This isn’t a scientific experiment

by any means and even though

it wasn’t a yes, it certainly

wasn’t a resounding ‘no’ either

which is quite something when

you consider the competition

of Valentino Rossi, Giacomo

Agostini, Wayne Rainey and Mick

Doohan et al.

Of course, it’s tricky to compare

across eras and partisan lines

will always muddy the waters

of trying to choose impartially,

but judging by comments on

this and other posts, Marquez

– while respected for his

achievements – is yet to achieve

the widespread universal

approval of fans.

Indeed, Marquez is well on

course for a record number of

world titles at his current rate…

but is he the People’s Champion?

And does it matter if he isn’t?

Could Marc Marquez ever

change teams?

Indeed, one of the most frequent

points leveraged against

Marquez when his ‘GOAT’ status

is argued is the way he is doing

so on the best machine (in his

hands, anyway) with the most

support. Then again, looking at

the way other Honda riders have

performed recently, perhaps that

isn’t the correct way to term it.

Measured against the likes of

Rossi, many suggest we won’t

know the true ability of Marquez

until he tests himself with a

new challenge at a different

manufacturer, just as the Doctor

did when he switched from

Honda to Yamaha.

Indeed, while there is no

begrudging the way in which he

has swept all before him, the

more impactful headline today

is when he is beaten, not when

he wins. As such, it is entirely


Brought to you by

believable Marquez has considered a

future outside of Honda to assert his

talent on a machine that challenges

him to change his riding style or

prove his developmental nous.

So where would he go? Ducati

has been previously mentioned

but Marquez would put his

achievements directly into

comparison with Casey Stoner, the

only rider many consider capable of

stemming the Spaniard’s dominance

had he not retired early.

It’s the same issue with Yamaha

and the Rossi comparison (ignoring

the fact he has personal Red Bull

sponsors and Yamaha is a Monster

team), while Suzuki seems unlikely

to meet such wage demands.

As such, the most obvious

destination is KTM. The

manufacturer is backed by Red Bull,

is steadily working its way to the

front of the field and could probably

– with the help of sponsors – give

him plenty of financial incentives.

A Marquez-KTM set up would

be neatly timed too. Both have

something to prove and while any

such move is unlikely to happen

before Marquez surpasses Rossi’s

seven premier class world titles, if

it’s 2022 at the earliest then KTM

should probably be a front runner, if

not a title contender.

It’s a worthy theory – one that

admittedly progresses no further

than educated guesswork right now

– but there is no denying Marquez

winning a title with KTM would

finally answer those question marks

once and for all.

One could also argue the arrival of

Alex Marquez at Repsol Honda is

insurance for ensuring the Marquez-

Honda name remains intact should

Marc depart. Indeed, by that stage

the younger brother just might be a

MotoGP title contender too.

It would be a risk but, all things

considered, a calculated one worth

taking when you’ve already achieved

eight world titles by the age of 26…

Does Marc Marquez care if he is


Without a doubt, Marquez has a

sizeable army of fans defending

his honour across social media

and waving #93 flags in the stands

around the world. However, you

don’t need to look far to see his

extraordinary feats on track aren’t

quite mirrored by universal adulation

among those that attend races,

tune into television or contribute to

various public forums.

Watching Marquez on track can be

frustrating if you’re don’t buy into

majesty of his performance. The way

he can stalk his opponents for laps

on end before launching a late attack

for victory is both exemplary and

off-putting in sense if the end result

is always the same. Not that you can

blame him for that.

Earlier this year Marquez referenced

that exact style of race craft, saying

he wanted to be entertain fans by

keeping them guessing down to the

last lap – even if, presumably he

always knew he had the pace to win

– and exerting a physically engaging

riding style in the image of Randy


It’s a noble endeavour. After a

period of Casey Stoner dominance

achieved by him qualifying on pole

position and sprinting into the

distance, then complaining how he

felt his performances were not given

enough credit, you can understand

why Marquez might prefer to

throw a bit of showmanship into

his armoury to complement his

extraordinary talent.

Bottom line, Marquez has clearly

considered how to carve his image

among fans to create a legacy

beyond the wins and titles, but

whether he uses this as impetus to

fundamentally shake his career up

remains to be seen…

As we say above, to have achieved

so much at such a high level by

the time you are 26, time is most

definitely on Marc Marquez’s side.




Marc Marquez went under the knife one more time

after further injuring his right shoulder in a crash

during day one of MotoGP testing at Jerez.

The reigning champion immediately visited the

medical centre after his crash on the Monday

where it was determined he suffered a partially

dislocated shoulder, however he returned to riding

that afternoon before topping the timesheets on

day two.

Marquez has since revealed he sustained the

same injury during his crash at the Malaysian

grand prix, prompting him to undergo surgery as a

preventative measure.

“This winter I would have liked to have a nice

holiday and enjoy a bit of quiet time after a great

2019, but it is time to have surgery on the right

shoulder,” Marquez explained. “As everyone

knows, last winter was very tough for me with the

operation on the left shoulder, which was very,

very damaged.

“I want to avoid the situation where my right

shoulder is in this condition in the future so I spoke

a lot with the doctors to see what our options

were. Before Motegi I had some issues with the

shoulder and then after the crash in Malaysia I had

a subluxation.

“Here at the test I had another subluxation after

the crash, so we decided with the doctors that it

was best to have the surgery to avoid the situation

we had with the other shoulder. It will take more or

less the same time and we will work in the same

way to arrive at the Malaysia test as strong as


A week after the Jerez test the 8-times world

champion went for surgery and the shoulder

operation was successful according to his team.

The surgery was performed by doctor Xavier Mir,

doctor Victor Marlet and doctor Teresa Marlet, all

part of the Catalan Institute of Traumatology and

Sports Medicine.

The operation is similar to the one performed

on his left shoulder at the end of 2018 but less

aggressive in nature.

Marquez was discharged within 48 hours after

the op before beginning his recovery and winter

training in preparation for the Sepang test in

February next year.



Brought to you by



It’s been an exceptional rookie

season for PETRONAS Yamaha

Sepang Racing Team rider Fabio

Quartararo, not only taking

Rookie of the Year honours in

his first season in the MotoGP

World Championship but

backing it up with becoming the

Independent Riders’ Champion

and helping the team to take the

Independent Teams’ title in their

first season in the premier class.

En route to an incredible season,

he also managed to rack up

seven podium finishes, six pole

positions, 13 front-row starts

and fifth in the overall World


With the 2019 season at a close,

we asked Fabio to reflect on his

incredible debut season.

Can you rate your season from

one to ten?

“We did an amazing season

this year, so maybe eight. The

two missing are because of my

mistakes - but I needed to make

them to learn for the future. It’s

important to not over-analyse

the year, but it’s also true that

there were some races where

we could have done a better job,

like in Australia or Silverstone. I

made mistakes, but that’s part

of the job and I learned from

them. The highlight of the year

was definitely pole position in

Jerez; it was the first time I ever

topped a session in MotoGP and

it was for pole position!”

What have you learned this

season and what do you need

to learn in 2020?

“I learned many things about

saving tyres, how to ride a

MotoGP bike with both a full tank

of fuel and an empty one, how

to play with the maps - there are

too many things to list them all.

It’s an amazing experience to

be able to ride these bikes, and

I’ve learned so much that it’s not

easy to say all of them. Next year

I want to perform better in races,

because we already know that

I’m fast in qualifying.”

What role did the team and

Yamaha have in your rookie


“The role of the team was to

teach me at the start of the

year, and every single person

in the squad has helped me in

some way. Everyone did a top

job - their season is a nine out of

ten, only because everyone can

always find a way to improve

themselves. No bike in MotoGP

is easy to ride, but the Yamaha

is perhaps the most familiar for

a rookie, and that helped a lot

to keep me working in a simple

way instead of doing stupid

things while I was riding.”

What are you most proud of in

your rookie season?

“I’m so proud of the whole

second half of the season when

I was able to be there fighting

for the podium in a lot of races.

I think It’ll be the goal of 2020 to

spend every single race fighting

for the podium and for top-fives.

Of course, the biggest regrets

are the crashes in Phillip Island,

Sachsenring and Silverstone -

but we learned a lot from each

of them.”

Your name is now a lot more

well known than at the start

of this year; what effect has

this had on you?

“Of course I feel it because last

year I was a nobody and then

suddenly with a big change in

performance this year people

have started to recognise me in

the street or at the airport. But

the important thing is for me to

try and remain the same person,

not to do stupid things - I want

to stay like I was before.”

What are your expectations

for 2020?

“My expectation for next year

will be to fight for the podium in

every single race and to be top

five when we can’t be in the top


What’s your plan for the

winter break?

“I’ll be at home, training hard

and riding motorbikes as much

as possible, because winter is

the only time when I can ride

bikes without a lot of risk and






Reigning Formula One world

champion Lewis Hamilton has

sampled Valentino Rossi’s

Monster Energy Yamaha

YZR-M1 MotoGP machine in a

unique ‘ride swap’ at Valencia,

where the latter also had the

opportunity to drive Hamilton’s

2017 Mercedes-AMG Petronas

W08 F1 car.

Hamilton, who rode a WorldSBKspec

Yamaha R1 last year with

the Pata Yamaha squad, was

onboard the M1 that Rossi piloted

at Valencia’s MotoGP season

finale, earning praise from the

famous number 46.

“It’s so awesome to see a legend

like Valentino in the car,” Hamilton

commented. “I’m excited for him,

for discovering the car for the

first time. It reminds me of my

first time in an F1 car.

“When you see all the team around

you, it’s just a different animal. It

was so cool to be out on track and

see Valentino ahead of me on the

same bike.”

Rossi is no stranger to driving an F1

car, having had opportunities to do

so in a Ferrari from 2002 through

to his last appearance in 2010.

“Technically, Valencia is a hard

track and today was windy so

at one point,” Rossi explained.

“I thought it would be difficult

for Lewis to continue, but he

was brilliant on the bike and his

position on the M1 was great. I

think he had loads of fun, which

is the main thing.

“I was a big fan of Lewis’ before

but now I am even more. We had

a fantastic day, where the two

top classes of motorsports not

only met, but worked together.

“I felt like a real F1 driver for

a day. I didn’t want the day to

end. I also rode the YZR-M1 on

track with Lewis. It was a proud

moment for the team to share

our passion with him.”





Even after the official release of

images and statements, details

about what actually happened

at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit

were scarce. However, Sky

Sports had some details on lap

times in this unique experience

for both riders. Sky Sports

reported that both men had

‘spinning’ moments on track,

and that Rossi was 1.5s slower

than Hamilton, who previously

drove to set a reference time.

For Hamilton it was not so easy

to follow the Italian veteran at

the helm of a MotoGP bike, being

four seconds away.

Not sure how true this is

but pretty sure that the fast

reference times posted by both

men were not that of flat out

speed, but rather just a guide on

the day. There is no ways that


Brought to you by

after only a day that Rossi would

finish only 1.5s off the fastest F1 time

set at Valencia and definitely no

ways Hamilton would be just 4s off

proper MotoGP pace.





Lewis Hamilton has confirmed

media claims that he crashed the

Yamaha MotoGP bike during a swap

of disciplines with Rossi.

As a relative newcomer to

motorcycle racing, taming a

prototype machine producing in the

region of 270bhp was always going

to be difficult, with strong winds at

the circuit making it even harder.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:

“I had one little spin with it but

otherwise brought it back in one

piece. I was just step by step

learning, but it’s a very steep

learning curve.”


Valentino Rossi ends his current

contract with Monster Energy

Yamaha in late 2020 and retiring is a

possibility. After a hard season this

year, the veteran makes his future

dependent on being competitive

next year.

Quoted by motosan.es, Rossi

assumed that the results will dictate

his decision, which will have to

come quickly next season: “Next

year is crucial in deciding my future.

Unfortunately, I will have to decide

very quickly whether to continue

or not. It will depend a lot on the

results, we made some changes in

the team. We’ll see if we can be faster,

otherwise it’s better to end here.”





Despite being one of the greatest motorcycle

racers of all time who holds a whole host of

records (well, at least until Marc Marquez

breaks them all), Rossi has always had more

than a passing interesting in racing cars. He was

consistently linked to an F1 drive with Ferrari in the

late 2000s after a number of tests and he’s entered

rounds of the WRC but, after opting to focus more

on his riding, the last major race he competed

in was driving a Ferrari in the 2012 Blancpain

Endurance Series.

However, a week after the ‘swap’ with Hamilton

he marked his four-wheeled racing return when

he entered the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi, driving

a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Kessel Racing alongside his

best mate, Uccio Salucci, and his brother-in-law

and Moto2 rider, Luca Marini.

After qualifying seventh, the trio made their way

up the order to be running fourth overall and

second in the Pro-Am category as the race entered

its final stages. However, the class-leading Audi

(which was running third) was penalised for a pit

stop infringement, promoting Rossi and Co. to the

overall podium and the win in Pro-Am. Not a bad

effort at all for a couple of motorcycle racers!

Based on this performance though, it seems like a

good bet he’ll finally make that permanent switch

to cars. He’s already said that he wants to compete

in major endurance races - could we be seeing

Rossi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the not too

distant future?





A must for all Ducati MotoGP fans and Ducati

riders - The Replica Team 19 leather jacket is a

replica of the official Ducati team livery for MotoGP

2019. Produced in a limited edition by Alpinestars

exclusively for Ducati, it is made of durable 1.3 mm

thick cowhide leather. The numerous elasticized

inserts favour movement and riding comfort, as do

the pre-curved sleeves and low-profile collar. The

jacket is fully CE certified according to the latest

standards, has GP-R protectors on the shoulders

and elbows, and has pockets for back and chest

protectors (not included). From the track to the

road, where passion races!

Available from Ducati SA @ R13,780.

Tel 012 765 0600


Fire it Up! out in Fourways have just unpacked the

latest range of Fasthouse tees and caps.

The range is so cool with a wide range of styles

and designs available for you to choose from.

The gear is very well priced and the quality is of

the highest standard. Pricing on shirts and cas

start from R549 each. Get that perfect, cool, fast

look for the sunny season.

Available from Fire it Up!.

Tel 011 467 0737

Visit thefasthouse.co.za for full range.



After a very lengthy absence from the SA market,

Suomy helmets are finally back in SA and we have

the amazing new SR-Sport Dovi Replica featured

here. The All New SR Sport is a testament to Suomy’s

commitment to excellence and innovation. As well

as producing the hottest graphics in the industry,

Suomy is a true innovator of new standards and

safety. Because Suomy is never satisfied, they have

developed the revolutionary Carbon aramid fiber,

Aramidic resin composite material called Tricarboco.

Helmets constructed with Tricarboco are the most

durable, lightweight shells available and have now

set a high standard for premium helmets.

Available from Suomy Africa @ RR8,499.



Helping produce SA’s next stars.

SAMRA Redstar Raceway Training Camp 2019

The annual SAMRA

training camp took

place at Redstar

Raceway and once

again the young riders

who attended were

treated to a once in a

lifetime experience.

Pics by ZCMC & Beam productions.

Every year Niel Harran

from SAMRA (South African

Motorcycle Racing Academy)

puts together a training camp

at Redstar Raceway where

young want-to-be racers get

to hone their skills on track as

well as learning all about the

life skills needed off it.

The camp is so much more

than just learning how to ride

a motorcycle, it’s also a life

skills camp. Participants camp

at the track for 3 days and are

taught that hard work is what’s

needed to make it in this life.

The days start off with a

quick breakfast at the canteen

before each rider is told to pick

up all the rubbish and tidy up

the area. From there it’s off to

the classroom for a briefing

from Neil and some helpful

tips from the world class

instructors who are on hand

throughout the 3 days.

How’s this for a line-up

of instructors; Brad Binder,

Darryn Binder, Mathew

Scholtz, Brandon Goode,

Themba Khumalo, James

Flitcroft, Chris Wright and

Savannah Woodward. Like I

said, world class instructors

who are on hand to answer

any questions the youngsters

might have and to go out on

track and give them one-onone

guidance and tutoring.

Over 25 youngsters took

part in this years camp and

all were partnered up with

various coaches for the 3

days of training. Each rider

is treated to 3 meals a day;

breakfast, lunch and supper

and all bikes and fuel are

supplied. Riding kit is also

supplied if need be. All this

for the ridiculously low price

of R2800 per rider - just

having Brad Binder as a coach

justifies the entry fee.

This years camp was

hampered by 3 days of torrential

rainfall, but that did not stop the

riders and coaches from going

out on track and getting the job

done. In the expert and wise

words of Neil Harran “racing

bikes is not for sissies”, and

there were no sissies present at

this training camp.

Every single rider, including

the complete newbies, went

out on track, in conditions that

not many would. They fell over,

crashed, got drenched, but

that did not keep the smiles

off their faces. Riders from

as young as 6 years old took

part using the supplied Honda

NSF100 machines, while the

slightly older riders used

CBR250 bikes. A simulator is

provided for those who need

to learn how to use a clutch

and change gears - every

angle is covered on this camp.

Overall it was another

terrific training camp with

lots learnt both on and off the

track, and that’s ultimately

what this camp is about. A big

well done to all who attended

and a massive pat on the back

must go out to Neil Harran

and his team from SAMRA

for hosting such an amazing

event and helping nurture our

future talent.

To find out more about how

to get your child started in

racing and to take part in this

training camp contact Neil on

082 560 3684.

Straight after breakfast

it’s off to the classroom for

some helful tips and tricks,

including how to fasten

ones helmet before going

out on track. Safety first!





On Tuesday the 10th of December,

day 2 of the SAMRA Camp, KTM SA in

conjunction with RideFast Magazine

hosted a special Brad Binder meet and

greet for their dealers and customers.

The select few that were not put off

by the rain were treated to a quick chat

with the MotoGP rider as well as poster

signing and selfie sessions.

A very special KTM Superduke 1290

R splashed in BB33 livery was also on

hand for Brad to take some customers

out on track. Sadly the non-stop rain

would cancel those plans and instead

all present took full advantage of the

exclusive time with the SA star.

As you can see by the pictures above track conditions were terrible, but

that did not stop everyone from having fun! There were plenty of thrills and

spills, even Brad Binder - the MotoGP star - crashed a couple of times.

Johnny Rea still the man

they are all trying to beat.

World SBK Testing from Jerez.

Day one of the Motul

FIM WorldSBK test at

the Circuito de Jerez

– Angel Nieto came to

a close in December,

with riders and teams

testing new parts and

new bikes ahead of the

new season.

Returning riders and WorldSBK

rookies were on track looking

for the perfect set-up for their

2020 season, whilst WorldSSP

also joined the on-track action.

Although four red flags

interrupted proceedings,

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki

Racing Team WorldSBK)

pipped Toprak Razgatlioglu

(Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Official Team) and Alex Lowes

(Kawasaki Racing Team

WorldSBK) to finish on top of

the pile ahead of day two.

Improving the package in

specific areas and continuing

to experiment with new

ideas regarding balance and

set-ups for various scenarios,

the Kawasaki Racing Team

WorldSBK continued their

pre-season testing with a

strong afternoon in the south

of Spain. Jonathan Rea was

the first rider under the 1m40s

mark, whilst Alex Lowes

elevated himself up to second

with just two hours of track

time to go.

Over at Ducati, it was a tough

afternoon for Scott Redding

(Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who

ran on at turn five and beached

his Ducati. The British rider

re-joined the track but slipped

down to seventh with less

than two hours to go, although

he recovered in the end and

finished day one in sixth.

Davies was just two places

behind and was working on

ergonomics, whilst working on

rear shock feelings together

with Ohlins. Michele Pirro

(BARNI Racing Team) was just

outside the top ten in 11th.

Yamaha were also working

on a vast array of things across

their bikes, as Razgatlioglu was

the first out on track. Toprak

was experimenting with engine

braking and was keen to refine

his riding position – the Turk

finished second overall, splitting

KRT duo Rea and Lowes.

Setting 98 laps, Michael van

der Mark was also working

hard on improving his feeling

with new parts on the 2019

bike and finished inside the

top four. Loris Baz (Ten Kate

Racing – Yamaha) was as high

as third but slipped down to

overall, as he continued to

work on a solution for his top

speed deficit. Niccolo Canepa

was out on track too and was

the only rider with the 2020

Yamaha R1, finishing ninth.

For the first time for the

2020 season, BMW were on

track, meaning Eugene Laverty

made his debut with the

German manufacturer. Laverty

suffered a technical problem

which brought out the second

red flag, leaving oil on the

track at turn two. Tom Sykes

spent his day testing different

chassis characteristics, whilst

Scott Redding

looking fast.

also experimenting with a

different electronics strategy

and swingarm parts too.

Tom Sykes finished the day in

seventh whilst Laverty was

tenth overall.

At GRT Yamaha, both

Federico Caricasulo and

Garrett Gerloff continued their

adaptation to World Superbike

life. The Italian was not inside

the top ten for most of the

day, and, like at Aragon, was

working on his riding position

on the bike. Garrett Gerloff set

more than 70 laps on his first

time at Jerez and spent most

of the day inside the top ten

before finishing 12th.

Alex Lowes, now on

Kawasaki, ahead of

former team-mate VDM.

Toprak loving

life on his new

Pata Yamaha R1.

Xavi Fores (Kawasaki

Puccetti Racing) was still

getting used to be being

back on a WorldSBK-spec

motorcycle and was one

place further back in 13th,

whilst Caricasulo and Lorenzo

Savadori (Team Pedercini

Racing) were 14th and 15th


Ending the day on top out

of the WorldSSP riders was

reigning champion Randy

Krummenacher (MV AGUSTA

Reparto Corse), making his

debut for MV Agusta, whilst

Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti

Racing) and Isaac Viñales

(Kallio Racing) were in behind.

Newcomer to the WSS class

for 2020 and SA star, Steven

Odendaal had his first outing

on the Ten Kate backed yamaha

R6 machine and impressed

ending the day in 5th place only

0.7 off Krummenacher.


Despite a handful of red flags,

it was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki

Racing Team WorldSBK) who

topped the timesheets, whilst

closely behind were Loris Baz

(Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha)

and Alex Lowes (Kawasaki

Racing Team WorldSBK).

Having just been pipped for

top slot at lunchtime, the KRT

squad were back on top come

the end of the test, as Jonathan

Rea was the first rider into

the 1m38s. The time, which is

under Alvaro Bautista’s race

lap record from last year,

slotted him nicely at the top

whilst teammate Alex Lowes

completed day two of the test

in fourth place.

Xavi Fores (Kawasaki

Puccetti Racing) enjoyed

a successful comeback to

WorldSBK and finished just

outside the top ten in 11th, as

he continued to become more

accustomed to the bike. Aboard

the Team Pedercini Racing

Kawasaki, Lorenzo Savadori

finished 15th and began to get

used to Showa suspension.

Yamaha were once again

leading the charge to Kawasaki,

although this time it was

Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing –

Yamaha) who was second. The

Frenchman bolted up to the top

just after lunch but was pegged

back by the reigning five-time

WorldSBK Champion. Eager to

improve the feeling on fresh

rubber whilst the bike works a

treat on old tyres, Baz is back at

the forefront of WorldSBK.

Michael van der Mark

suffered a mechanical problem

which resulted in an oil leak

and subsequent crash at turn

one, bring out the red flags.

Federico Caricasulo (GRT

Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team)

and Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL

Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)

also crashed on oil.

Van der Mark finished in

third overall, just 0.007s from

Baz. Having been inside the

top four for most of the day,

Toprak Razgatlioglu finished

seventh, refining his feeling with

Ohlins suspension, as he’d not

used it before. On the 2020 R1,

Niccolo Canepa was eighth. GRT

Yamaha’s top rider was Federico

Caricasulo in 13th, whilst Garrett

Gerloff was 14th.

WorldSBK rookie Scott

Redding was the leading Ducati

Panigale V4 R rider in fifth, as

the British rider continued his

understanding of the team and

bike in WorldSBK-spec. Redding

has pleased the entire team at

Aruba.it Racing – Ducati with his

quick adaptation, adding to the

positive mood inside the box.

The focus for the team on a

whole was the balance of the

bike and to try some new parts

on the rear end. For Chaz Davies,

the Welshman finished in

ninth and was over 1.5s behind

Jonathan Rea. BARNI Ducati’s

Michele Pirro was in 12th place.

The best of the BMWs was

once again Tom Sykes (BMW

Motorrad WorldSBK Team),

as the British rider continued

his progress and used all of

his famed development skills

in order to get the bike to his

liking. The 2013 WorldSBK

Champion leapt up to sixth in

the final ten minutes of action,

making it three British riders

inside the top five.

New teammate and former

WorldSBK title rival Eugene

Laverty was quietly going about

his business, as he finished in

tenth place on his return to the

Shaun Muir Racing fold.

It was former Moto2 rider

Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL

Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)

who set the pace ending on top

of the WorldSSP timesheets

ahead of Philipp Oettl and

Randy Krummenacher.

Steven Odendaal improved

to 4th overall and ended the

test just 0.3 off the fatest time.

Steven Odendaal

on his Yamaha R6.




So, you are the master of

the twenty-two, you can ride

Robber’s pass blindfolded and

you know every undulation

of Long Tom pass. But what

about the passes in Europe:

Stelvio, Furka and the famous

Grossglockner? Imagine

approaching a hairpin-bend on

a Ducati Multistrada at full tilt,

only to see that this hairpin is

numbered “20”. That means

that there are nineteen more

to come as you plunge down

into the valley below. This

is what my Edelweiss Bike

Travel, Precious Dolomites

tour was all about!

Words & pics by Brian Cheyne

Last year, friends of mine

went on a European

motorcycle tour. The

pictures were fantastic

and I wanted in. I wanted

to experience it for myself.

To make life easier, I approached

a company called Edelweiss Bike

Travel. They have been in existence

since 1980 and they offer tours all

over the world. With their vast local

knowledge it takes the guesswork

out of route-planning and finding

decent accommodation. The only

thing that bothered me was riding

as part of a group. It is a personal

thing, but I don’t enjoy riding in

a group. Fortunately Edelweiss

offers self-guided tours as well.

This means that they give you a

complete route with places to see

and things to do with a pre-booked

overnight stay. You have all day to

get there and no-one to wait for.

Edelweiss has a vast fleet

of motorcycles and a dedicated

workshop at their facilities in

Mieming, Austria. This means that

you will probably be able to rent

what you currently ride. Trust me,

when you are trying to remember

to ride on the wrong side of the

road, being on a familiar bike

will make a world of difference. I

opted for my dream bike, a Ducati

Multistrada. The bike was equipped

with panniers, a top-box and a

tank bag. This provided more than

enough packing space for the five

days of riding.

At the time of booking they

offered four tours. For one of the

tours, you are stationed in Tyrol

and you ride a loop every day. I was

tempted to do that, because then

your luggage stays in the hotel and

you can pick a nimble bike like a

Ducati Monster and just have fun


every day. I opted for the Precious

Dolomites tour instead as that

included a scenic part of Italy I

have always wanted to see.

After booking, Edelweiss sent

me a route-book, a map and

two luggage tags. Every day’s

riding is neatly described in the

route-book with suggestions

for rest stops and lunch

recommendations. You have

the option of a long and a short

“The tour itself was really well

organized. The roads we travelled on

were spectacular and some of the

most scenic routes were so far off the

beaten track that I doubt you would

ever come across them if you were

putting together this tour yourself.”

route every day. The longer route

adds in a few scenic loops and

they are well worth exploring.

Having booked the tour,

everything was handled and

paid for online. Two months

before the tour started, my

son asked if he could tag

along. All it took was a single

mail to Edelweiss and all my

accommodation was changed

to twin accommodation. That is


the benefit of booking through

places like Edelweiss. It is

hassle-free. Also, Edelweiss had

an option for you to rent all your

motorcycle gear, should you

choose not to lug all your gear

half-way around the globe.

The tour itself was really

well organized. The roads we

travelled on were spectacular

and some of the most scenic

routes were so far off the beaten

track that I doubt you would

ever come across them if you

were putting together this tour

yourself. Taking the shorter

route on some days afforded

us the luxury of exploring the

towns we stayed in. At the time

I thought it would be nice if

you could add in a rest day, as

I wanted to stay a bit longer in

one of the towns. With the new,

expanded, self-guided tours you

can do that now.

If you are into your

motorcycling, but your

significant other is more into

pedal-power, the Edelweiss

might just have the solution.

They offer e-bike tours through

the most scenic parts of Austria.

These bikes offer the rider some

assistance with the pedalling

effort and you cover around

70km per day.

Would I book though

Edelweiss again? Most

definitely. In fact, for 2020 they

have added more tours to their

itinerary and I am already eying

one called Twisty Tuscany!

Webpage for motorcycle

tours : https://www.


Webpage for e-bikes :








Words by Donovan Fourie / Pics by Beam Productions


Yes, we see these National

race bikes performing physicsdefying

feats of brilliance

around our esteemed race

tracks, setting times us mere

mortals look at with nothing

but envy and awe. They are

so fast that this gaze we hold

upon them is in much the

same light as the gaze we hold

upon galaxies some 12 billion

light years away; they are so

inexplicably far away from us

that the mind cannot begin to

fathom it.

Look at it this way – Red

Star Raceway is a long lap

time. A C-group rider at the

track day will run somewhere

to the right of 2:30. The

B-group rider will be in the

range of 2:20 to 2:30. That

pace is already faster than

90% of people that have had

the privilege of swinging a leg

over a motorcycle; it is already

a praise-worthy pace. The

A-group clan are somewhere

between 2:20 and down to

2: 05. At this pace, we begin

ascending from the ranks of

mere mortals and into the

realm of demigods.

Now we delve into the

ethereal cloud that is the

professional racer. A good

racer, one that walks with

the glow of godliness, will

accomplish 2:00, and the

national racers somehow dip

below that coveted 2min line,

the Thors and Odins getting as

low as 1min 55. Anyone who

has turned a lap of Red Star

will know how impossible this

feat should be to achieve, and

yet somehow they do it.

Now we move the envy of

Thor, Odin and Tom Cruise –

Clint Seller. Or, more accurately

this year, six-times South

African Champion Clint Seller.

His best time around Red Star

Raceway is a 1min 50.

In a galaxy far far away…

We know these riders are

extraterrestrial. We know

they possess talents and

dedication that supersede

human existence. But they

also posses bikes that are far

removed from those ridden

off showroom floors. But how

much of this galactic lap time

blitzing is down to the marvels

of the rider and how much do

we attribute to the machine?

And this led us to Red Star

Raceway one fine Spring

morning to find out.

The current Yamaha R1 is

still a force to be reckoned

with, despite now in its fifth

year of existence and has since

seen all of its rivals receive a

revamp. In World Superbikes,

it still achieves podiums and it

is still taking championships in

series all over the world.


“The standard machine pushes 199

hp and has a wet weight of 199 kg

making it a neat 1:1 power-to-weight

ratio. It also has every electronic

trick in the book, the suspension

is commendable efforts from KYB

and the tyres are good for achieving

mileage on the road plus offer

something relating to sporty grip. “

The standard machine pushes 199 hp and

has a wet weight of 199 kg making it a neat

1:1 power-to-weight ratio. It also has every

electronic trick in the book, the suspension is

commendable efforts from KYB and the tyres

are good for achieving mileage on the road

plus offer something relating to sporty grip.

The exact machine we had is the day-to-day

machine of Yamaha ambassador and Soweto

Motorcycle School owner Alfred “King Donut”

Matamela, and is completely standard apart

from a slip-on can that makes in a tiny bit

lighter and does very little to the power output,

and a Maverick Vinales signature.

Clint’s bike, on the other hand, is quite

different. It started life as a standard R1, but

after much fettling by Aer-O-Cannon it now

has Ohlins gas front fork cartridges, an Ohlins

TTX shock, a blue printed motor, an Akrapovic

full exhaust system, a YEC ECU flash, a Rapid

Bike Evo fuelling module, a Sprint racing filter,

shorter racing gearing, Metzeler Racetech K0

tyres and about a 15kg drop in weight with

the racing fairing and the removal parts not

needed for racing. The total cost of everything

is R350,000. The say that if you want to make

a small fortune in racing, start with a big one

and wait…

Is this fortune of high-tech tuning worth

the massive lightening of Clint’s wallet? That’s

what we are finding out. For our Fast Laps

we have an anonymous racer that we use as

a shameless copy of The Stig. No one knows

who he is, even though he has the build of

Dino Iozzo, the style of Dino Iozzo, the look of

Dino Iozzo, says he’s Dino Iozzo and it says

Dino Iozzo on his ID book. We have no idea

who this strange racer is and his identity will

never be revealed.


So Not-Dino Iozzo first

climbed aboard Alfred’s

standard R1 and lined up at the

start line of our special version

of Red Star (we use the second

loop of Red Star, partially

because it has the perfect mix

of corner types and straights

but, more importantly, it’s less

to shoot than the full track). Not-

Dino has been riding nothing

but race bikes his entire life, and

found himself confronted with

the full horror of a bike designed

to wrap up miles on the highway

and not just go around corners.

He did the lap, and it looked fast

with much sideways action, but

some conversing afterwards

revealed that he felt out of place,

strange and a bit awkward.

The suspension was too soft

and didn’t dampen properly,

the gearing was all wrong, the

fuelling was off and the tyres

felt like they were made out of


Still, he achieved a

commendable time around our

easy-to-film track of 1:29.00.

Then he threw his leg over

Clint’s race bike, and looked

happier the moment he left

pitlane. Much of this is down to

the suspension that is stiffer

to offer better support under

harsh braking, leaning and

acceleration, plus is able to

deal with the fine ripples that

become a whoops section when

pushed too far. The flashed

ECU and Rapid Bike module

mean the throttle has been

opened without the fly-by-wire

system trying to save fuel or

make the rider safer, and the

fuelling makes the bike not only

push more power but also feel

smoother for better throttle

control. This is all needed,


because the


exhaust and

Sprint filter will

serious alter

the standard


“He did the lap, and it looked fast

with much sideways action, but some

conversing afterwards revealed that he felt

out of place, strange and a bit awkward.”


often to such an extent that

these additions make less

power without the fuelling


The single biggest difference

between the two bikes is the

tyres – you can add R1 million

worth of high-tech suspension

components to a motorcycle,

but if you are using tyres made

of concrete then it is pointless.

The Metzeler tyres are the

softest in their range, meaning

road mileage could probably

be achieved in one weekend,

and a single race is the entire

lifespan on a race bike. However,

compared to the high-mileage

road-based brick rubber on the

standard bike, they stick like glue

to the track.

Not-Dino finished his lap

with a smile and a flourish,

and posted a lap time that

needs to show R350,000-

worth extra time.

Did it?

Well, put it this way – the

standard bike completed our

strange-lap in 1:29.00. The

championship-winning race bike,

on the same day with the same

conditions and same rider, did it

in the conveniently round number

of 1:20.00. That’s nine seconds

faster. And on quite a short lap.

Percentage wise, it’s 11% faster

over one lap. The qualifying cut

off for a national race is 7%,

meaning Clint wouldn’t qualify for

a race if he were on a standard

bike. Compared to the longer Red

Star lap time of 1:50 that Clint did

on his race bike, the standard bike

would manage just a 2:02. Over

a 12-lap race, that would mean

that Clint would be 2 minutes and

12 seconds behind himself, and

would finish comfortably last.

Is that worth R350,000? Oh

yes. Definitely





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After a short hiatus, Aprilia is back in South Africa. Teaming up with Italian Motorcycle Importers, they

have joined Moto Guzzi on their showroom within the Maserati building in Bryanston, but made their

public debut at a track day at Kyalami where members of the public and Press were invited to ride three

of their gems – the Tuono RR, the RSV4 RR and the mighty RSV4 Factory. RideFast was offered rides

for Rob, Shaun, Darryn Binder, James Flitcroft and Donovan Fourie. Each was given one twenty-minute

session on each bike, so these are quick-fire tests, however, a full test on each will be forthcoming soon.

All five riders were given rides, but Donovan was the only one bragging about how he could spell the

word “onomatopoeia”, so the showoff was given the brunt of the writing task. Herewith:

Normally, I detest slogans.

They’re usually a cheap con

used to glorify a brand, and

this is coming from someone

who studied marketing at

varsity and spent much of

his adult life in the marketing

world, so I might throw some

weight behind saying that it’s

a bogus commercial tool used

by corporations to glorify their

products, often in a misleading

way. However, sometimes they

let on to a more underlining

culture within the company,

especially in the motorcycling

world where the people behind

the brand are often there

because it’s their passion

rather than them attempting

to achieve their career goals.

KTM have “Ready to Race”

and this is a slogan that

that holds some legitimacy,

especially with their dirt

bikes that are very much

ready to race as they leave

the showroom. It shows

something behind the culture

of the brand where everyone

there is a racer of some form.

Ducati, on the other hand, don’t

have a slogan, but the name

“Ducati” in itself has become

a synonym for performance

and race track prowess aimed

at the advanced rider wanting

advanced riding tools. The

name “Ducati” is a slogan.

Now we move on to the

third of the European racing

brand – Aprilia. They have the

slogan “Be A Racer”, or more

contemporarily, “#BeARacer”.

The big difference between

these slogans and the others

within the sport bike market

is that Aprilia’s doesn’t refer

to the motorcycles but rather

to the rider – the rider can be

a racer. After a day at Kyalami,

this slogan has proven itself

to be more profound than

a corporate strategy. Let’s

explain this, and we start with

the Tuono RR.


The RSV4 RR chasing

down the Tuono RR.

Aprilia Tuono RR

I’m getting old. There are people in

their 60s that still ravage the roads

and tracks aboard their sport bikes

that would wholeheartedly disagree

and point out that I’m merely a bit

on a nancy, but I’m in my 30s with

my 40s growing ever larger on the

horizon. As little as five years ago and

before, I coveted the advanced, highperformance

superbike above all, and

yet on this day I preferred the Tuono

above the other Aprilias.

The RSV4s are no doubt better track

and performance tools capable of easily

achieving better lap times than their

naked brethren, and yet I would rather

ride the Tuono. Much of this is because

I am no longer interested in breaking

lap records; I’ve won championships,

won races and done all that lap record

thing before and now I’m interested

only in having fun while I ride. You,

reading this, genuinely don’t give toss

about my meagre racing career, but it

sets the scene. Successful people who

have already achieved many of their

life goals, and are no longer trying to

achieve new goals like silly lap times,

will sympathise. They want to have fun,

and not win battles.

The Tuono fits this profile perfectly.

The upright seating position induces less

aches and pains, the higher bars mean

easier tipping into bends, and the lack

of wind protection and aerodynamics

compared to the superbikes may stunt

performance but creates a better sense

of theatre for the ride.

The 1100cc 65º V-four motor shares

genetics with the RSV4 Factory, however

power has been dampened to 175hp, a

figure extremely competent in the current

naked sector but a good chunk down on

the superbikes. While not able to break

speed records, it does make up for this

by the feeling of speed that is massively

compounded by the lack of fairing, so

while you’re not doing the speed of the

superbikes, it certainly feels it.

The Tuono steers so well, has a motor

that doesn’t overwhelm the rider while

still offering the feeling that you organs

are compacting, it has an electronics

package that still earns its accolades

as some of the best available to human

beings and it doesn’t leave the rider as

a sweaty clump of various cramps. The

other benefit, though not tested during

our track session, is that it will make a

better road bike. It looks threatening,

it sounds fantastic and it sells for a

reasonable R235,000.

The only criticism is that the Sachs

suspension is a touch soft and can be

out of its depth on Kyalami’s bigger

bumps, but this is a compromise with

the road handling and certainly not a

deal breaker.

The Tuono is, from a personal point

of view, the best bike Aprilia makes. And

it can be better, which is why Aprilia

also makes the Tuono Factory. It, sadly,

wasn’t available to ride on the day,

but is equipped with Ohlins electronic

suspension that would most likely

undo the problems of the RR’s Sachs

suspension. It comes at a somewhat

heartier price of R267,600.

“The Tuono steers so

well, has a motor that

doesn’t overwhelm the

rider while still offering

the feeling that you

organs are compacting,

it has an electronics

package that still earns

its accolades as some

of the best available to

human beings and it

doesn’t leave the rider

as a sweaty clump of

various cramps.”


ENGINE: 1077cc Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder,

4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double

overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder

POWER: 175 HP @ 11,000 rpm

TORQUE: 121 Nm @ 9,000 rpm






Aprilia RSV4 RR

For the people – perhaps quite

rightly – calling me a nancy, we

move on to the RSV4 RR; the

lower spec version of the two

but perhaps the more attractive

model to a massive chunk of the

world. The 1000cc 65º V-four

motor pushes 201hp putting

it in much the same ballpark

as the current Japanese litre

crowd, and is equipped with the

lower-spec Sachs suspension.

This sees it some steps down

on the Factory model, however,

it is also a good chunk more

affordable at R290,000.

The question remains as to

whether it’s worth paying the

extra R80,000 for the Factory,

especially as the rest of the

motorcycle is exactly the same.

Let’s find out.

Leaving pitlane, the normal

procedure for riding a new

superbike is get yourself

comfortable in the seat, get

yourself in the bracing position

and look for a clear section to

open the throttle. When all the

boxes are ticked, you open the

throttle and all hell brakes loose.

The bike bucks and weaves

under acceleration, your bones

pull out of their joints, blood

is forced out of your brain and

marinades your now mashed

internal organs. This didn’t

happen with the RR. Is that a

good thing?

The V-four motor growled

its sonorous groan, the speed

increased as you would expect

from a 201hp motorcycle,

and yet no internal organs

with harmed, bone structure

This is James Flitcroft

on the RSV4 RR - he

is a former Red Bull

Rookies Cup rider

from the UK and also

raced for Aprilia in

New Zealand. He was

not only blown away

by the new Aprilia

RSV4 but also the

Kyalami circuit.

“The V-four motor

growled its sonorous

groan, the speed increased

as you would expect

from a 201hp motorcycle,

and yet no internal

organs with harmed,

bone structure remained

intact and the brain still

had enough function for

remember to pull the

brake for the corner.”

It didn’t take

Donovan long to

get comfortable

and fast on the

RSV4 RR, and

that’s the beauty

of this bike, it’s

just easy to



remained intact and the brain still had

enough function for remember to pull the

brake for the corner. We might accuse it of

simply being slow, however, the speedo

was showing all was well and there was

little problem keeping up with the other

bikes on track. The RR seems to deal with

its acceleration better than other machines

making the rider’s life less theatrical but

more productive.

Normally, when a motorcycle remains

stable in a straight line, it loses out in

turning, tipping into turns like heavyduty

tractor rather than a sports bike,

yet the RR arrived at turn one and I

nearly clipped the inside curb; it does

steer incongruously well. Release the

Sean Powell from

Aprilia SA taking the

RSV4 RR for a spin

and loving it!

M50 Brembo brake at the end of the trail

braking, roll on the throttle and, once

more, there is no massive whack from

the motor, no ripping of the rear tyre as

it spins and no wayward steering. The

power comes on gently, nurturing the rear

tyre and guiding the front to do nothing

but hold its line. Then you open the

throttle fully again on the straights, speed

increases as you would expect and still

there are no unnecessary theatrics.

All the while the electronics are doing

their job, I think. It’s hard to tell, because

they do not make themselves known. Turn

them up to maximum interference and

you can certainly feel them holding the

bike back, but in a smooth, non-upsetting

manner. The gear change is spectacular

– the up-changes feel seamless and the

auto-blip down-changes happen without

hesitation or resistance, even at the end

of the Kyalami main straight where it is

jammed down from fifth gear to first.

Aprilia is famous for its electronics,

and rightly so – they are sublime. It is

also famous for its frames, a legacy

extending from its two-stroke racers

from the 90s and their staunch aluminium

bone structure. Today, it is no different

– they have managed to somehow find

a mechanism of achieving acceleration

stability and cornering agility, two traits

that are usually mutually exclusive. There

must be some form of wizardry involved.

Physics dictates that this is not possible.

While the steering is sublime, where the

RR begins to fall short is when it is leant

over to a point of excess, like mad-capped

racers strive for. It is here that the Sachs

suspension begins losing its foothold,

and this manifests in the bike becoming

a little unstable and running wide. This is

a deal-breaker for the competitive racer

wanting to push for lap records, however,

for the most part people won’t get that far.

Especially if they using the RR primarily

as a road bike. The Ohlins of the Factory

might overcome these difficulties on track,

but in the real world of breakfast runs,

this remains superfluous and therefore


On the road, we can imagine that

the RR must be spectacularly good,

especially for the R80,000 discount. For

everyone on the track, except the top

10% fastest riders, it is remarkably good

too, massaging your ego and giving the

confidence to push as hard as you can.

That’s all you want from a bike.

For the 10%, and perhaps more, we

have the new 1100cc Factory model, with

loads of carbon fibre and wings...

One of the many lucky

customers who got to

sample the new RSV4 RR

around the Kyalami circuit.


ENGINE: 999.6cc Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder,

4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead

camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder

POWER: 201 HP @ 13,000 rpm

TORQUE: 115 Nm @ 10,500 rpm






Aprilia SA did a great job at making all who managed to sneak a

ride on their bikes feel like factory riders.

Great having the Aprilia brand back in SA and so well represented.



Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory

Let’s point out that the Aprilia RSV4 1100

Factory shares around 99% of its DNA

with the RR. For the privilege of that

extra 1%, you will be charged an extra

R80,000. That puts the price up to a not

insignificant R370,000. It all seems rather

excessive for that measly 1% difference,

but if you were to change your own DNA

by just 1%, you’d be a monkey. That little

bit extra is important.

The Factory was receiving a good deal

attention in the Kyalami pits, although

there was some trepidation. People were

keeping a cautious distance. And no

wonder. The Factory sat, restrained by

its paddock stand as the tyre warmers

served to do nothing more than make

it angrier. It was coal black with its now

illustrious carbon-fibre MotoGP wings

jabbing out of its sides like a Terminator

robot that’s slightly damaged and is now

incandescently pissed off about it.

The coal black gives it the look of a

terrestrial SR71 Blackbird, the famous

American spy plane that still holds

the record as the fastest aircraft ever,

so much so that none have ever been

shot down as the pitiful missiles of the

opposition were massively outclassed

and couldn’t keep up. There are sharp

lines and fins and spikes, like a new

Dinosaur in a Jurassic World movie,

thought up by Spielberg during a

particularly ravishing BDSM session with

his sadistic Japanese love dominatrix. It’s

evil personified, like a motorcycle should

be. A deranged, genetically-designed


Climb aboard, switch the ignition on

and and you receive the usual dramatic

display from the colour TFT dash followed

by a screen that can best be described

as intricate. Luckily, the IMI staff were

on hand because time was too short to

undergo the course to learn how to use

it. Obviously, we wanted Race Mode, little

traction control, wheelie control and ABS,

and that’s what we received.

Hit the starter and…oh…more dinosaur;

the deep growl that Spielberg uses when

he’s hellbent on making the audience truly

sh*t themselves. With the trepidation set

on the level of a Jurassic World protagonist

stepping inadvisably into the dark to see

what that noise was, we clicked into first

and set off down pitlane.

Of course, the first lap is for taming the

beast – very literally – and then take the

plunge during the second lap and start

gassing it. Naturally, this is going to lead

to certain death, but this is the life of a

committed journalist and giving your life

for the cause is a sacrifice worth making.

“It’s evil personified,

like a motorcycle

should be. A deranged,




So, with a last prayer, lifted up out of the

last corner and open the throttle to a

glorious death.

The bowels of the Factorysaurus

have also grown into a 65º V-four but

with an extra 100cc of malice. This

malice has pent up an anger that barks

out a savage 217hp. Open the throttle

and it unleashes in a fury that…makes

the bike go forward. Very quickly. With a

completely absence of gruesome death.

Now we look back to the RR that was

all compliance, and the Factorysaurus

isn’t too far of a stretch from that. It

turns out that the genetically deranged

dinosaur has a Barney chromosome

mixed in, and while that stunts the

savagery of the beast, it makes it

obedient, maybe even friendly.

It blasts down the straight in the

same composed manner as the RR but

a good deal faster, the V-four screaming

up to 13,200 rpm when the shift lights go

full Christmas tree and a gentle nudge

of the gear lever clicks it seamlessly up

a speed. At the end of the main straight,

somewhere between the 200 and 150

signs, you grab a handful of brake lever,

and the Brembo Stylema callipers get

to work bringing the speed down for

the hairpin Turn One while the auto-blip

barks loudly as the gearbox effortlessly

shifts from fifth down to first.

The front forks are Ohlins’s NIX

models that give a stark increase in

stability compared to the Sachs forks

from the RR. The stability has a massive

impact, giving the rider the confidence

to brake later, brake harder and brake

deeper into the corner. The Stylema

callipers have great stopping power but

their real talent is the feel they have when

trail braking deeply. The partnership of

the forks and the brakes gives the rider a

truly invincible feeling, like the Superman

of riding. The turn-in, like the RR, is again

illogically light and easy.

The good news carries on at full lean

where both the front and rear Ohlins

work together with Aprilia’s framebuilding

talents to keep that bullet-proof

stability where the RR starts to falter.

Roll on the throttle, and again there is

no foot up the backside but rather a

gentle push with the electronics holding

everything in check until it’s time to go

full throttle again.

The session was 20 minutes long,

and my fitness level, that is better suited

to a life of couch binging, usually finds

this duration taxing. It did with the RR,

where the last lap or two started getting

uncomfortable. With the Factory, I

spent the session riding harder, faster

and somehow I was still quite happy

when the chequered flag came out. It’s

a strange phenomenon, where harder

riding should be more exhausting, and

yet the confidence of this motorcycle

makes riding easier, less draining and

ultimately more fun.



Darryn Binder

just couldn’t

resist taking

the RSV4 1100

Factory for a spin.

“It’s a


that makes

people tremble

in pitlane, but

on track it

winks at you


and says “let’s

do this.” It’s the

best of both


It’s a Factorysaurus that makes people

tremble in pitlane, but on track it winks at

you conspiratorially and says “let’s do this.”

It’s the best of both worlds.

Be A Racer

There’s a conclusion to be drawn from

these three models that harks back to

their slogan – Be A Racer. Where the other

racing brands’s concentrate more on

their models and their superiority on the

track, Aprilia’s targets the rider and this is

a microcosm of the brand, and its target

when building models.

Let’s put it like this – the Ducati V4

and its subsequent versions is a force to

be reckoned with. It is the closest mere

mortals are currently going to get to riding

a full World Superbike or even a MotoGP

machine. It is thrilling to ride, it feels like it

wants to rip your head off and I suspect

that an experienced racer will draw quicker

times on the V4 than anything else.

It’s a laudable achievement by tDucati

but, on many occasions, the overseas

media has rated the RSV4 above the

Panigale V4, stating in particular better

lap times. How does that work? These

are professional motorcycle journalists

in shiny race gear talking about losing the

front, smoking the rear and suspension

damping. Well, let me let you in to a little

secret, one that will hopefully spark some

patriotic joy.

Mostly, those overseas journalists

write a good game about their racing

prowess, and journalists in South Africa

read those stories too and looked upon

them with awe. That was until we started

getting invited to international launches

where we shared a track with these great

There is no

replacement for

displacement and

that’s once again

evident in the

217hp 1100cc RSV4


people we had read all about and inspired

to be. We nervously went out on track

with them and found them to be, well,

not so fast. There were a few that had

some serious skill, but mostly they were

average, towards the back end of the A

group at a track day, maybe even in the B

group. The South African journalists – all

of them – were always among the fastest

at a launch, often the fastest.

It was a shocker, especially given the

game the overseas journalists talked

in their stories, but it does go someway

towards explaining why the Aprilia

was top of their list, and perhaps its a

judgement that’s more compelling.

The Aprilias don’t light fires under

your ass like the Ducatis do, but instead

of trying to kill you, they put a comforting

hand on your shoulder and say: “come on,

let’s do this”. A top racer will be quicker on

a Ducati but most other people, I suspect,

will do quicker times on an Aprilia. They

make being a racer far easier.


ENGINE: 1077cc Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder,

4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead

camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder

POWER: 217 HP @ 13,200 rpm

TORQUE: 122 Nm @ 11,000 rpm






The new RSV4 1100 Factory

and RSV4 RR are powerful

superbike machines that

can be enjoyed by most.

You are guaranteed a

smooth and very seductive

ride from every aspect of

these machines.

V4-MP Phone App

This advanced Multimedia Platform allows the rider to connect

to the motorcycle through the smartphone. The App (available

for Android and iOS) transforms the smartphone into an onboard

multifunctional computer acting as a link between the bike and

the Internet.

The V4-MP system aids in “corner-by-corner” electronic

management using the phone’s GPS feature. It recognizes the

position of the bike and automatically changes the electronic

adjustments (traction control and anti-wheelie) based on the

settings the rider has selected, corner by corner.

Also it features an Adaptive Race Assistant compares rider

performance to the best lap on the track in real time and assisting

the rider in real time to gradually improve performance.

The V4-MP system also transforms the smartphone into and

Advanced Telemetry Dashboard displaying information such as

instant power sent to the driveshaft; instant torque sent to the

driveshaft; percentage of available power; drive to the rear wheel;

rear wheel slippage; longitudinal and lateral acceleration, lean

angle etc. You can even monitor your battery life, services and load

track maps for lap times and more.

Now that’s one really long list of features, adding massive value to

the already amazing Aprilia brand.



I have been waiting for this moment

for a very long time. I have had all my

journo mates overseas telling me just

how amazing the new Aprilia RSV4 1100

Factory is and the fact that I hadn’t yet

ridden it was a true shame.

Like the kid at school not sporting

the latest Nike shoes, I felt ashamed

and embarrassed, but that’s all in the

past now because I have managed to

swing my leg over the latest Aprilia

superbike creation and am once again

part of the cool kid clan.

Aprilia has always produced

seductive superbike machines and I

have always had a soft spot for the

RSV4. The biggest problem with the

previous gen was the lack of power.

It did everything else, it just lacked

that extra bit of oomph compared to

its rivals.

This would be my first time testing

the new spec bikes and Aprilia certainly

have added some more oomph. Much

better in the power department, but

where the real gem lies is how it’s

delivered. Whilst riding, you would

never think you had over 210hp on

tap. It’s so easy to use the power - it’s

smooth and predictable, making it a

breeze to enjoy. Nothing better than

riding a powerful superbike that does

not feel intimidating.

The key to going fast around a

track has always been about riding

smoothly, calmly and effortlessly, and

the new Aprilia RSV4 RR and RSV4 1100

Factory make you feel just that. As Don

said, these are machines that 80% of

riders can enjoy and get the best out

of, compared to some other bikes on

the market, like the Ducati V4, which is

amazing but does need a bit of talent

and experience to really enjoy.

Apart from the ultra smooth V4

powerplant, the electronics package is

sublime, but the real highlight of these

machines come from the braking and

even more so the handling department.

Pull the lever, get it stopped and point it

where you want it and it goes with the

flow, it’s that simple!

Kyalami’s stunning layout played

out perfectly and was a match made

in heaven to the RSV4 machines. They

thrived around the fast-flowing circuit

and carved up every turn, bump, and

braking marker hitting every apex

without huff or fuss. It was pure thrill

and enjoyment from the moment I

turned the key!

I loved the new bigger dash and the

extra tech you can get with the MP App

(see more on left) just adds even more

value to these extraordinary machines.

It’s great seeing the Aprilia brand

back in SA and the team behind it is

passionate so I’m sure it will thrive!


Words by Shaun Portman / Pics by Beam Productions.

There is no replacement

for displacement and this

more often than not is a fact,

especially when it comes to

motorcycles here in SA.

Our market demands big

capacity motorcycles capable

of doing just about anything

and in the new, bigger and

better Africa Twins, Honda

might just have a range that

can do just about anything.



I, like so many others have been

waiting patiently for the release of

a new Africa Twin since the reincarnation

was introduced back in

2016. I am glad to tell you that the

wait is finally over! The all-new range

of 2020 Honda CRF1100 Africa Twins

are now available in South Africa and

we were invited along to the South

African Press launch to find out what

all the hype is about.

Being part of a publication and

working for Honda as well has its

perks, as you can tell. Being that

the Press Launch of motorcycles

in general are normally held first

(before the public and dealers get

their hands on them) I was one of the

first lucky few and first out of all the

South African dealers who would get

a chance to ride the all-new 2020

Africa Twin.

After work on Wednesday the

27th November, I made a hasty

getaway to arrive at the

Amanzingwe Lodge in

the North West where

the launch would take

place. Arriving later than most, I was

welcomed with open arms and great

service from both the Amanzingwe

Lodge and Honda SA crews. Riaan

Fourie, head of the Honda Motorcycle

division, took us through the new

bikes, which stood in front of us in all

their glory. For this launch they had

both variants available of the “Small

Tank” and “Big Tank”, also known as

the Adventure sports. We were all

allowed to sit and fiddle with the 2020

models while the lodge prepped our

three course dinner.

The next day, after breakfast (a big

guy like me needs to eat before riding)

we all met and were transferred by

Honda to Gerotek where the launch

would take place. Exciting as this

would be my first time at Gerotek.

After a riders briefing, I quickly choose

to ride the off-road loop first in order

to beat the heat later on. The dirt loop

was great and mixed both fast open

sections with tight and rocky sections.

Up first was the Big Tank Manual.

Now I must say I noticed how much

lower the bike is than the 2019 version


“Bigger is more

often than not always

better and the new

‘BIGGER’ Africa Twin

is certainly better!”


Build quality is

simply sublime

as expected from

Honda. There won’t

be parts flying off

whilst thrashing

it off-road.

straight away. A whole 50mm has been shaved

off taking it from 920mm to 870mm (on its

highest settings). This already opens the Africa

Twin models up to a lot more riders, including

short people like myself. The power on all the

2020 models has been taken from around

94hp to 100hp. I am not going to bore you with

the details on how they manged this but what

I can tell you is that the difference between

the old 1000 and new 1100 is far greater than

the specs would lead you to believe. Power

wheelies now came as standard and easier

than ever to perform. Helping me tame this

power would be the electronics, which have

been revised and new goodies added for 2020.

I set the riding mode to off-road and turned

the wheelie control onto 1 to start, but would

later turn it off as the bike would cut power up

the steep inclines.

Another really cool feature that has

been added to the new models is that of the

beautiful, big screen dash, which is touch

screen. I found it very easy to operate as I

played around with all the aids which include

ABS settings. Not having an Apple iPhone I

wasn’t able to use the Apple Car Play, which

is a bit annoying, but was able to connect via

Bluetooth and USB. With a headset you can

now make and receive calls as well as listen to

music - Another nifty addition from Honda.

The 2020 model now has an off-road mode

and I must say the ABS on the Africa Twin is

most probably the best out there for both road

and off-road applications.

Up next and I climbed on the Small Tank DCT,

keeping the settings the same as not to give

an advantage to any of the models I quickly set


off. After riding both Small Tank

and Big Tank models in both

DCT and Manual variants on the

challenging dirt loop I can quite

happily say that I was hugely

surprised and impressed, but

definitely favoured the DCT bike

for off-road. It was just simply so

easy to ride - no clutch control,

just point and squirt!.

The Small Tank felt a lot

lighter and more nimble than

the Big Tank. The actual weight

difference between the two is a

mighty 12kg according to specs

and you can definitely feel this

out on the trails. Another plus

while going through all the rocks

and obstacles was the tubes

fitted to the Small Tank, whereas

“After riding both Small Tank and Big Tank

models in both DCT and Manual variants on the

challenging dirt loop I can quite happily say that I

was hugely surprised and impressed, but definitely

favoured the DCT bike for off-road.”

the Big Tank now comes

standard with Tubeless. Mighty

impressed, even though I was

out of my element with the dirt

it was time to swap and up next

would be the track test.

Back to what I know, I would

once again take both models and

variants around the tight but ohso-fun

handling test track. The

suspension is definitely vastly

improved on the 2020 models

and I noticed less dive from the

front end while braking hard

into corners. Grip on all models

was amazing and I found myself

scraping my knees and drifting

the rear wheel in almost every

bend. I must say out on the track

I turned all of the electronic aids

off and rode the bikes in Touring

mode. The bike is so easy to

ride and very forgiving and

predictable so I knew I would get

away with this superbike racing,

track styled riding. I found that

the manual bikes, especially the

unit fitted with a quick shifter

and auto-blip, was much better

than the DCT around the track.

Having said that, the sound the

DCT made on down shifts was

truly addictive.

The new AT really

has to be good if it

can get a Portman

through dirt...


Shaun testing out the

sporty side of the new

AT - it passed with a

standing ovation...

The biggest difference I

noted was bottom end and

mid-range power. Definitely

a huge improvement and

mixed with the better throttle

response from the ride-by-wire

throttle completely transforms

the Africa Twin. I favoured the

manual small tank around

the track as the smaller, more

compact bike just felt more at

home through the tight and

twisty bends.

After the track we headed

out onto the open road, once

again swapping between the

models. And this is where the

Big Tank comes into its own.

The adjustable Touring Screen

and heated grips made the

bike a pleasure to ride. The

biggest plus on all the bikes is

the cruise control, which is now

standard on all models! This is

where the old bike was really

let down and Honda has finally

answered the prayers off their

customers. After riding around

at “legal Speeds” it was time

to head back and reflect on an

awesome days riding.


In short, the 2020 models are a

vast improvement on what was

an already great bike. Honda

have simply refined it and

added all the creature comforts

any modern adventure bike

Should have packed his

race suit...

should have. They took the

information supplied to them

and applied it to help make the

Africa Twin a serious option for

any adventure rider.

Bigger is more often than

not always better and the

new ‘BIGGER’ Africa Twin is

certainly better!

A huge thank you to Honda

SA for a brilliant launch. It’s

so good to see Honda SA

putting their money where

their mouth is - They definitely

have a winner with the 2020

Africa Twin range and a true

contender to those other

European models.



ENGINE: 1084cc Liquid-cooled

4-stroke 8-valve Parallel Twin with

270° crank and uni-cam

POWER: 100hp @ 7500rpm

TORQUE: 105Nm @ 6250rpm


KERB WEIGHT: 226kg / 238kg

SEAT HEIGHT: 850/870mm (Low Seat

option 825, High Seat option 895)


PRICE: R210,000 base manual

R222,449 base DCT

R236,000 Adv Sports manual

R269,000 Adv Sports DCT





Available at all leading

retailers nationwide.

Text by www.blog.ktm.com/Adam Wheeler | Pics by www.blog.ktm.com/SebasRomero




Red Bull KTM Factory

Racing is a team punching

its weight in the ‘prize’

division of MotoGP. It is

a collective of almost

fifty full-time people

of different ages,

nationalities, cultures

and genders. The

grand prix paddock is a

strange environment:

a mini society of

diverse backgrounds,

educations, beliefs.

Most of all it is a home

of expertise, knowledge

and enthusiasm for sport,

bikes and competition.

In the technical side of

the garage each person

has a specific role to play

in helping Pol Espargaro

and Mika Kallio find the

precious tenths of a second

they need in the nineteen

rounds of the FIM World

Championship. (Even) in

2019, motorcycle racing –

and perhaps international

level motorsport on

the whole – is a male

dominated world but KTM

are one of the very few elite

level squads to subvert

that trend and depend on

the nuance and skills of

at least three women to

help make their MotoGP

project tick. We decided

to ask Data Strategy

Engineer Jenny Anderson

from Britain, Analyst

Andrea Cantó and Team

Coordinator Beatriz Garcia

both from Spain about their

jobs and how people – not

just women – can hope to

follow their path and work

at the peak of motorcycling


OK, first of all tell us

about the day-to-day

work in Red Bull KTM

Factory Racing …

Jenny Anderson: For me I

guess there are two parts:

there is the bit at home –

which is preparation for the

event and the analysis after

the event – and then there’s

the work around data at the

track itself. Leading up to a

GP I will look at data from

previous days at a circuit

and I’ll try and prepare a

base. I am the link between

the engine and the rider.

If you gave the rider just

a cable from his hand to

the engine then it would

be hard to handle because

there is so much power in

these bikes. So I tweak the

torque levels corner-bycorner,

the traction control,

the wheelie control and the

engine braking to make it

easier for him to ride and

for better performance. I do

all of this as a base before

we arrive to a GP and then

I work with Pol during a

session and he will say “I

need more,” I need less” and

we tune as we go along.

Andrea Cantó: I do the

tyre analysis for all four

KTM riders. I talk to the

Crew Chiefs and they tell

me the plan they have


Jenny Anderson

makes the Crew Chief’s job

easier. What I have learned

this year is that you get a

general perspective of what

is happening on the four bikes

but not really the specifics of

any single one; it is a bit of a

different picture.

for the tyres for the day and

then they supply me with the

comments from the riders. We

try to analyze the data to see

if everything is in line and then

make a plan for the next day and

eventually for Sunday. The target

is to figure out which tyre will

be the best for the race because

some will have a very high

performance in the beginning

but then drop a lot faster, some

have less performance but more

consistency. It is about trying to

find the one for each racetrack.

I’ve worked for nine seasons

in racing and was a long time

inMoto2; there it was simpler

and we only had two specs of

tyre instead of three. I was a

data engineer then so doing

analysis in general and not only

on tyres.

Beatriz Garcia: I have

responsibilities at the circuit

and I am always working

because I am ahead of

everybody and also focussing

on the next events. When

I’m here in the paddock we

travel Tuesday and set-up

everything on Wednesday so

everybody can work. Then I

start with organization of the

paddock passes for guests and

sponsors. I’m booking all the

flights and hotels and moving

everybody from one place to

another. Usually it is around 50

people and sometimes the WP

guys and Moto3 because I am

the connection with the factory.

Then things like hiring grid girls.

It is more the human side of

the racing team; anything away

from the spares, parts and bikes

I take care of.

Jenny: The electronics

department is quite a broad

range of people. Each rider will

have a strategy person and then

there is someone who is the

overall manager and will be the

link between us as well as giving

help and advice with our job.

We also have people working

on the electronic hardware and

doing the tools. The cause of

any difficulty for the rider is not

just electronics because they

work with the chassis and also

Andrea Cantó

the suspension. But if there is

a problem that can be fixed by

electronics then they will be

looking right at you.

Andrea: It was a big change

for me moving from that

Moto2 role. At the beginning I

wondered ‘do you really need

one person to analyze tyres?’

but I don’t get bored or have

time to get bored! It’s worth

having that person. It might

not change the result but it

Beatriz: The professionalism

of a factory team compared to

a Moto3 team – where I worked

before and you are always

trying to stretch a euro to the

maximum – is huge and I was

scared in the beginning about

how big the job would be. Also

it was all-new. I set up my own

system – like my colleagues

– but it turned out to be very

easy because everyone is so

professional and experienced.

It’s easy to work with these guys.

Obviously there are still fires to

put out, but people can focus on

entyrely on their jobs and if there

is any other kind of problem then

I will solve it.

So how did you reach the

confines of Red Bull KTM

Factory Racing?

Andrea: I wanted to work in

MotoGP. I wanted to be able to

learn new stuff. I approached

the team to ask if they needed

anyone and they were full but I

ended up being lucky because

they had the budget for one

more person.

Jenny: I joined the project in

2015, before we had a MotoGP

bike, and from working in

the factory full-time and the

electronics department. I have

seen the RC16 go from zero to

where we are now. I had quite

an open role. My manager said

“here’s the ECU for the bike we

are going to build in the next six

months, get something ready

so it can run”. So it was a bit of

everything, working with the

guys on the engine on the dyno,

connecting sensors, making test

harnesses: it was much more

hands-on at that time. Then we

started testing with Mika and I

was the data engineer for the

test team, I then did a year in

that same job for Pol and now

I’m the strategy engineer for Pol.

Beatriz: My first GP year was

2011 and my previous team

used to buy the Moto3 bikes

from KTM so I had a lot of

dealings with them and liked


the way they worked. In 2016

I met Mike [Leitner, Team

Manager] at the Catalan GP, and

in September I had confirmation

and started in October.

Beatriz Garcia

Andrea: The first three or four

months I had a full overload

of information. There were so

many new things. You try to

‘push them in’ but there is no

space! It slowly starts to sink in

and I still don’t know half of the

things that are possible with

these bikes. The good thing

about being here is that you can

see and feel the development.

Everybody is doing something

that has almost started from

zero. In another place I think

you would just be handed an

established platform with less

room to grow.

It must be tough for

anybody to break into

this world and work in

this paddock…

Andrea: I went to college and

then did the Monlau engineering

school [famous institution in

Spain]. I’m sorry to say but I think

there is a big percentage of luck,

especially when you don’t know

anyone in the paddock. That was

my case. What happened was

that one week before an IRTA

test somebody dropped out of

a team and they could not find

a replacement at that stage

because everyone else with

experience was taken. So they

took the risk in giving a job to a

newcomer. I think the teachers

at Monlau recommended

me and I got lucky. There are

more and more motorcycling

engineering course available

now and post-graduate courses.

Jenny: I grew up in motor racing.

My Dad built kit-cars and my

older brother got into karting.

He was like a god to me and

everything he did I wanted to

do. At ten I started karting and

started doing data almost as a

hobby; I never realized it could

lead into a job like I have now. I

went from having one sensor

to measure the RPM on my

kart to looking at the gears and

analyzing speed on different

corner exits. It evolved as I

added more sensors and got

more information. I volunteered

and did work for other people

with data. When I left college I

wasn’t sure what I wanted to do

“Contacts are everything. You

need them in this world. You

can be very good but if nobody

knows you then you won’t get

the chance to start.”

and ended up going to university

quite late; I was 22 when I went

to study motorsport engineering

at Oxford Brookes University.

I was working at a car racing

team in F3 at the same time and

the World Series by Renault. I

worked with Kevin Magnussen

in my first year actually. I then

worked with them full time until

this project came up with KTM.

Beatriz: Contacts are

everything. You need them in this

world. You can be very good but

if nobody knows you then you

won’t get the chance to start.

My nationality helped because I

was able to start in the Spanish

championship, that has a good

profile. For the MotoGP class it is

even harder because you need

experience and other people in

the paddock will ask about you.

Andrea: In the end it is a high

percentage of people coming

back every year and rotating

around the paddock. Even for

me it was not easy to find a

job in the MotoGP class. I knew

others in Moto2 because you

have people with the same

schedule. When other bikes are

running you don’t pay attention

and you miss the window to

network. Talking about the

job then I think you can learn

different roles. If you have good

knowledge then I think you can

learn to do other stuff.

What’s the sacrifice?

Beatriz: Everybody has their

needs in this big group. I try to

get to know everybody a little

bit just to know preferences,

interests, who has family and

so on. It sounds stupid but the

travelling is part of the job that

is tiring and time-consuming.

I cannot do much about a

cancelled flight but I will try to do

what I can to make sure people

are happy getting to their job.

Andrea: I think it is a kind of

lifestyle where if you cross a

mark then you don’t know how

to do anything else, or to have

a normal 9-5. I wouldn’t like to

cross that point but it is difficult

to know! You get so used to it,

and even when we have built

the garage then your place to

work is always the same. It is a

strange lifestyle. For people that

stop working here then I think it

is because the travelling finally

‘got’ to them. For the moment I

am OK. I don’t mind the travelling

but I know if I want to have a

family then it will be difficult and

I think for most of the women

that left the paddock then this

was the reason. I think, in some

ways, we can be very equal with

gender in this world but there

is not much we can do about

physical differences!

Jenny: It’s not really a job: it’s a

life choice. I’ve always spent a

lot of weekends at a racetrack

because it’s what I love to do. My

friends don’t really understand

what my job is and how many

hours we work. People assume

we turn up on a Friday, work a

couple of 45 minute sessions

and then we leave. Many don’t

realize how much goes into it,

and not just from us but also at

the factory. People are working

long hours all the time to

achieve what we achieve. There

is not a lot of downtime!

Beatriz: When I talk about my

job then a lot of people don’t

know much about bikes. They

tend to think I am just travelling

around and visiting all these

places. Other people who

know about racing think it is

very exciting and they are quite

surprised sometimes. Nobody

really knows what it is like

behind the scenes.


What’s it like being part of this

multi-national and eclectic

race team?

Andrea: I think with this job you also get

to appreciate that there are good and

bad points about everybody and every

nationality. The Spanish are supposed

to be lazy, the Italians are supposed to

be cocky, the Austrians are supposed

to be super-scheduled and you kind of

appreciate that there is a truth to these

thoughts but also there isn’t at all I like

working with people from everywhere.

Jenny: Often we spent sixteen hours

a day for three days in a row with the

same people. It’s important to be able to

get-on. It is a hard job anyway but if we

didn’t have this family atmosphere then

it would be tougher. Away from the track

we are a good group and we socialize a

lot. There is a lot of camaraderie. It’s a big

part of the job; when you get chosen then

it is as much for how well you’ll fit into the

team as for what or how much you know.

You need positive and motivated people.

Beatriz: I love it actually. You get to

know different cultures and you can

see how different we all are. There are

stereotypes…and generally they are true!

Andrea: My mum made me take English

lessons from when I was eight! Normally

the people here who know another

languages then don’t have too much

difficulty to pick up another one; it’s

incredible actually. Franco Morbidelli

can speak anything and Miguel [Oliveira]

speaks Spanish, English, Italian and

French: where does it all come from?! I’m


“The Spanish are

supposed to be

lazy, the Italians are

supposed to be cocky,

the Austrians are

supposed to be superscheduled

and you

kind of appreciate that

there is a truth to these

thoughts but also there

isn’t at all I like working

with people from


Beatriz: I never found any bad attitudes

or reactions to me. I think you need to be

quite open to fit into a team and people

will respect you, especially if you can do

a good job.

Jenny: From my experience in cars,

drivers often bring the money for a

single-seater one-make series spot

and it gives them a lot of clout about

whom they want to work with. They

might not want to work with a woman

or it’s because your face doesn’t fit or

you are English, Spanish or French. Here

or anywhere I don’t think gender really

comes into it much any more or no more

than any other sport. When I was karting

I’d be the only girl in a paddock of two

hundred people and I have seen – just in

my lifetime – how many more women

are now working in motorsport both as

drivers or engineering and that can only

be positive.



WP is expanding its footprint in South Africa

and is looking for professional business

partners that can bring the exciting PRO

COMPONENTS range of WP to the market.

Are you a suspension expert and interested

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take the first step in getting you in front.


Words by David Emmett




A Look Back at the MotoGP

Career of Jorge Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo has retired from motorcycle racing. The

32-year-old Spaniard has decided to end his career

as a result of the disastrous season at Repsol Honda,

hampered by extreme crashes and severe injury, and

never having become comfortable on the bike.

“I always thought that there are four significant

days for a rider,” Lorenzo told a specially convened

press conference at Valencia. “The first is you first

race, the second your first win and then your first

world championship – not everyone can win a world

championship but some of us made it – and then the day

you retire.”

The decision to retire came because he could no

longer summon the required energy to continue at the

level which was necessary. “Everything started when

I was three years old, almost 30 years of complete

dedication to my sport,” Lorenzo said.

“People who work with me know how much of a

perfectionist I am, how much energy and intensity I have

always put into my sport.”

“This level of perfectionism requires a lot of

motivation, that is why after nine years at Yamaha – so

wonderful, probably the best years that I enjoyed in my

career – I felt that I needed a change, if I wanted to keep

this full commitment to my sport.”

“That’s why I wanted to move to Ducati, it gave me

a big boost of motivation and even though the results

were very bad, I used the motivation to not give up and

keep fighting until I achieved this beautiful Mugello

victory in front of all the Ducati fans.”

Shattered Dreams

“Then later, when I

signed to Honda, you

gave me another big

boost because I achieved

something all riders dream

of, to become HRC rider for

Repsol Honda. Unfortunately,

injuries came very soon to play

an important rule in my results

and performance, so I wasn’t able

to be in normal physical condition to

be fast or competitive.”

“This plus a bike that didn’t feel

natural to me, gave me a lot of problems

to be competitive like I want to be. Anyway,

I never lost patience and keep working

with the team thinking it was probably only

a matter of time until everything came into the

right place.”

The crashes at Barcelona and Assen were the

catalyst that caused him to reconsider his desire to

keep racing, Lorenzo explained.

“Then, when I was starting to see some light in the

tunnel, the nasty crash at the Montmelo test happened.

And then some days later I crashed again in this ugly

Assen crash, which you know the consequences that


“I have to admit when I was rolling in the gravel and

I stood up, I thought to myself ‘OK Jorge, is this really



worth it?’ After all that I have achieved, to keep suffering…

I am done with it, I don’t want to race anymore.”

The Right Choice

It took him a long time to make a permanent decision,

however. He wanted to make sure it was the right choice.

“But then I came back home and decided to give it a try.

I didn’t want to make any early decision. So I kept going.

But the truth is from that moment the hill became so high

and so big for me that I was not able to find the motivation,

the patience to keep trying to climb this mountain.”

Lorenzo expressed his regret for Honda, after they

had given him the opportunity, and put so much time and

effort into trying to make it work for him.

“So I have to say I feel very sorry for Honda. Especially

Alberto, who was the one who gave me this opportunity. I

remember very well that day in Montmelo test, one of the

first meetings I had with him, to start chatting about my

move to Honda. And I said to him, ‘Alberto don’t make a

mistake, signing the wrong rider! Trust me and you will not

regret it’.”

“Sadly, I have to say, I disappointed him. I disappointed

Honda. Takeo [Yokoyama], [Tetsuhiro] Kuwata and

[Yoshishiga] Nomura-san [HRC president]. However I think

this is the best decision for me and for the team because

Honda and Jorge Lorenzo cannot fight to just score some

points or even top five or podium, that I think could be

possible with time. I think we are both winners that need

to fight to win.”

“Lorenzo never really got

comfortable on the 2019 bike, though

he showed signs of progress in the

early part of the season. But things

went wrong in Barcelona”.

Tough Road

The decision comes after a turbulent couple of years in

Lorenzo’s career.

It all started with Lorenzo’s decision to leave Yamaha,

after feeling he was not treated with respect by Yamaha

after the controversial end to the 2015 MotoGP season, in

which Lorenzo won the championship ahead of teammate

Valentino Rossi.

He signed for Ducati at the start of the 2016 season,

and would switch to the Italian brand in 2017.

Lorenzo had a difficult first year with Ducati in 2017,

struggling to adapt to a much more physical bike.

Despite that, he showed signs of promise, scoring three

podiums that year. But a conflict with Ducati CEO Claudio

Domenicali caused Lorenzo to decide to leave at the end

of 2018, making his decision after the race at Le Mans.

The next race, Mugello, Lorenzo won on the Ducati

for the first time, then won the next race at Barcelona as

well. He would end the season with three victories on the

Desmosedici, his season cut short by crashes at Aragon

and Thailand.

The run of success on the Ducati came too late. He had

already signed for Repsol Honda, to partner Marc Márquez

in 2019.

After promising post-season tests at Valencia and

Jerez in November 2018, 2019 got off to a bad start, as

Lorenzo fractured a scaphoid training on a dirt track bike.

That meant he missed the Sepang test in February, and

only got on the 2019 Honda RC213V at the Qatar test.

A Wrong Turning

Lorenzo never really got comfortable on the 2019 bike,

though he showed signs of progress in the early part of

the season. But things went wrong in Barcelona.

The Repsol Honda rider had a massive crash during the

test, in which he suffered minor damage to his vertebrae.

Two weeks later, at Assen, he crashed heavily during

practice, fracturing two vertebrae in his neck and back.

Lorenzo never fully recovered from that crash,

still suffering pain when he rode the Honda. Lacking


confidence in the front end,

a crucial part of Lorenzo’s

riding, didn’t help, and he was

constantly afraid of another

crash. Though the vertebrae

were healing well, the seed of

doubt had been planted.

Lorenzo had come within a

hair of suffering a spinal injury

which would have meant he

might never have walked again.

Spinal injuries and head injuries

are the two things riders fear

most. Pain, they can endure.

Life changing injuries are a

different ballgame.

Rising Star

So comes an end to a

remarkable career in motorcycle

racing. Jorge Lorenzo was raised

by his father to be a world

champion, father Chicho even

writing a book about how to

raise a child to be a champion.

Lorenzo entered Grand Prix

racing in 2002, at Jerez, the third

round of that season, having

had to wait until he was 15

years of age to join the Grand

Prix paddock.

He won his first race the

following year, 2003, at the Rio

Grand Prix in Jacarepaguá in

Brazil. The next year, he won

three races, finishing fourth in

the 125cc championship.

In 2005, Lorenzo moved up

to the 250cc class, where soon

found success. After a year of

adapting to the class, scoring six

podiums, he took the 250cc title

the following two seasons.

Yamaha had recognized his

talent early, starting talks with

Lorenzo in 2006, the Spaniard

moving up to partner Valentino

Rossi in the factory Yamaha

team in 2008.

Yamaha Rivalry

That was the start of a fraught

relationship. Yamaha had

brought Lorenzo in as insurance,

after Valentino Rossi had shown

an interest in either retiring

or going off to race on four

wheels, in F1 or Endurance.

Rossi resented the presence

of Lorenzo, and had actively

worked to prevent Yamaha from

signing the Spaniard.

Even in 2007, Rossi’s then

teammate Colin Edwards

was telling journalists that

Yamaha would be keeping him

in the factory team because

Rossi didn’t want Lorenzo as a


That Rossi was unhappy

with Lorenzo as a teammate

was evident from the start.

The Italian made the switch to

Bridgestone tires in 2008, but

demanded that only he would

get the Bridgestones, leaving

Lorenzo on Michelins, and

giving him an excuse to erect

a wall in the garage, and stop

the sharing of data, as neither

Michelin nor Bridgestone

would allow data to be shared

between the two riders.

Lorenzo made a spectacular

start to his MotoGP career, in

every sense of the word. He took

pole position at the first three

races of 2008.

He was on the podium at

Qatar and Jerez, before getting

his first win in just his third

MotoGP race, at Estoril in

Portugal. At the next race

in China, he managed to

highside himself to the

moon, smashing both

ankles, but finishing fourth

in the race nonetheless.

The next race,

Barcelona, he had another

huge smash, knocking

himself unconscious and

earning a stay in hospital. It

taught him a valuable lesson,

and it him some time to find

his feet again, only returning

to the podium six races later at


Champion at Last

In 2009, Lorenzo made his first

full bid for the title, finishing

second behind his teammate

Valentino Rossi. In 2010, he

finally achieved his lifetime goal,


winning the world championship after Rossi suffered

his first major injury, breaking a leg at Mugello, and

missing three races.

That was the year that Valentino Rossi had enough

of being Jorge Lorenzo’s teammate, and departed

for an ill-fated spell at Ducati, replacing Casey

Stoner, who had moved to Honda.

Stoner formed an almost unbeatable

combination with the Honda, taking

the title from Lorenzo in 2011, though

Lorenzo got his revenge in 2012,

winning the MotoGP title for a second

time, becoming the first Spanish rider

to win multiple titles in the premier


2013 saw the arrival of Marc

Márquez, replacing the retiring Casey

Stoner. Márquez made an even

bigger impact than Lorenzo

had on his debut, winning the

championship at his first try.

In doing so, Márquez

pushed Lorenzo as Lorenzo

had pushed Rossi before him,

forcing him to extend himself

to the limit to try to retain his


Man of Steel

That year saw what

would become

perhaps the defining

moment in Jorge

Lorenzo’s career.

At Assen, during a

soaking wet FP2

on Thursday,

Lorenzo hit a

patch of water

as he entered the

terrifyingly fast

right-left kink of

Hoge Heide. He

landed heavily, and

broke his collarbone.

Desperate to

hold onto his chances

of retaining the title, he

flew back to Barcelona on

Thursday night, had his

collarbone plated by Dr. Mir,

and then flew back to Assen

late on Friday night.

Lorenzo was passed fit

on Saturday morning, ended

morning warm up in eighth,

then went on to finish the

race in fifth position starting

from last on the grid. He

had lost only two points to

championship leader Dani

Pedrosa, and been far more

competitive than anyone expected.

It was an other-worldly performance. The

effort of the race had taken every ounce of grit

and determination he had in his body. He had

dealt with pain and suffering he never imagined

existed, and triumphed over it. “I did something

incredible that shows how the mind can push the

body to the limits,” Lorenzo said of that race.

But the crash came at a huge cost. Two weeks later,

Lorenzo crashed again during practice, bending the

plate on his collarbone. This time, he did not fly off for

surgery and try to race, but instead came back a week

later for the race at Laguna Seca.

Enter Doubt

Since the 2013 Assen crash, Lorenzo lost confidence in

mixed conditions. He was still hard to beat in the dry,

and fast when it was fully wet, but when grip was low,

he suffered.

It was partially a testament to his style, his ability

to carry corner speed hampered by a lack of grip. But it

was also because never found the confidence to push

in tricky conditions, to try to put heat into the tires and

trust that they would carry him.

2014 was a year of recovery for Lorenzo, coming back

from multiple surgeries during the winter. He turned up

at Sepang out of shape and overweight, and it took him

a season to get back in form.

That year stood him in good stead, however,

Lorenzo capitalizing on an underperforming Honda

forcing Márquez into mistakes, and triumphing over his

teammate at the end of the year to take the title.

That was also not without controversy. The feud

between Rossi and Márquez blew up during the

flyaways, and while Lorenzo got on with the job of trying

to win races and taking back the championship lead

from Valentino Rossi, Rossi got caught up in conspiracy


“The Spaniard felt

that Yamaha hadn’t

supported him enough

when he won that

very controversial

championship, and so

left for Ducati.”

theories about Márquez’

behavior at Phillip Island, and

the penalty Rossi was given as

a result of running Márquez off

the track at Sepang handed the

title to Lorenzo.


Lorenzo’s career since then was

defined by conflict, of one sort or

another. The Spaniard felt that

Yamaha hadn’t supported him

enough when he won that very

controversial championship, and

so left for Ducati.

He was lured to Ducati by

Gigi Dall’Igna and a salary of

€25 million over two years, with

Dall’Igna believing that Lorenzo

was the last piece in the puzzle

that would bring them the

MotoGP title.

But Ducati CEO Claudio

Domenicali had opposed the

signing of Lorenzo, wary of

paying a famous rider a lot

of money to try to win a title.

Ducati’s experience with

Valentino Rossi had made him

skeptical of this strategy, and

though Lorenzo showed signs of

promise, Domenicali’s patience

ran out, and he made pointed

remarks about the Spaniard.

Those remarks wounded

Lorenzo’s pride, and he held

meetings with Repsol Honda at

Barcelona, signing a contract for

2019 and 2020 with the team

before Mugello.

At Mugello, Lorenzo’s season

turned around with a win,

and he went on to look like a

force which could threaten the

hegemony of Marc Márquez and

Repsol Honda. But it was not

to be.

Breaking the Mold

What is Jorge Lorenzo’s legacy?

He was the fourth of the

so-called MotoGP Aliens, the

foursome which dominated the

series between 2006 and 2012.

Along with Valentino Rossi,

Dani Pedrosa, and Casey Stoner,

they took victory in almost every

MotoGP race between 2007 and


Only exceptional conditions

would allow others to prevail.

Ironic, then, that Lorenzo’s


retirement leaves the first of those Aliens,

Valentino Rossi, as the last one left on the grid.

Lorenzo is also a defining rider for Spanish

motorcycle racing. He was the first Spanish

MotoGP champion, and the second premier

class champion after Alex Crivillé took the

500cc crown in 1999. But he was also the first

Spanish rider to win multiple titles, his second

in 2012 arguably more significant than his first

in 2010.

He will be remembered for his time with

Yamaha, above all. His style and smoothness

was unparalleled, his ability to brake late,

fling the bike on its side, and get drive out of

corners, all while looking like he wasn’t even

trying, was what confounded his rivals.

His corner speed was legendary. “The only

time I get the same lean angle as Jorge is just

before I crash,” Cal Crutchlow would joke,

when he was at Tech3 Yamaha, and could see

Lorenzo’s data from the factory team.

Standing trackside, watching Lorenzo

brake, tip in, turn, and then exit, you never

noticed he had even moved on the bike. He

was so smooth, his motion so fluid, it was

hard to get your head around.

Watching him, it was hard not to think of

the T1000 from the movie Terminator 2, as

if Lorenzo was made of molten metal and

flowing from one side of the bike to the other.

Lorenzo is an unusual character, a result

of the upbringing by his father. Deprived of a

normal childhood by his father, forced to train

and practice and improve, working for his

father’s goal of raising a MotoGP champion.

Jorge Lorenzo made that goal his own, and

achieved and exceeded that objective. He was,

in his own words, not just a great rider, but

also a great champion. He will be missed in


“Watching him, it

was hard not to

think of the T1000

from the movie

Terminator 2, as if

Lorenzo was made

of molten metal and

flowing from one

side of the bike to

the other.”








Saturday the 30th of November

marked an historic moment for

two-wheeled road racing here

in SA - it was the first ever IUM

9 Hour Honda 150 Endurance

race and it attracted some of the

biggest names in SA racing trying

to take home the biggest prize

money on offer!

Words by Rob Portman / Pics by Beam Productions

The biggest motorcycle race of the 2019

season was not that of big expensive

machines racing around a big circuit, but

rather small Honda 150cc bikes duking it

out for 9 hours around the Vereeniging

Kart circuit.

The IUM 9 Hour has officially been

born with the inaugural event taking

place on Saturday the 30th of November

2019. Pictured on the bottom left is

Antonio Iozzo, his picture has been put

in as without him and his company, IUM

(Insurance Underwriting Managers)

this event would not be possible. IUM

contributed R70,000 towards the event,

which ultimately went towards the

biggest prize purse in two-wheeled

motorcycle racing that I have ever seen in

my over 20 years in the sport.

Adding to the R70k put in by IUM was

Aramando Lourerio from Family Fitness

Gym, who contributed R50,000 and

was the main force behind this amazing

event. Fire It Up! came in with R30,000

while Chris Wright Racing put down R10

large. The prize money would be split up

between the top 4 teams with first place

walking away with a mammoth R100k,

while 2nd took home R30k, 3rd R20k and

4th place R10k.

The prizes didn’t end there with

MotoMate, the massive motorcycle

accessory dealership out in Sandton,

contributing gift vouchers to their

incredible store to the 5th, 6th and 7th

place finishes.

There was massive hype heading into

the first running of what is now going

to become an annual event. Sadly, due

to other motorcycle races happening

over the same weekend, only 11 teams

made it to the starting line for the first

running of the IUM 9 Hour race, but it

was very much a case of quality over

quantity, as a combined total of 12 SA

titles were scattered over the 11 teams

taking part. Six times SA champ and

recently crowned 2019 1000cc SA SBK

champion, Clint Seller, lined up for

team Massive, while 3x SA champ Greg

Team Lads on Tour / RideFast Magazine - Tom Booth Amos, Darryn Binder,

Blaze Baker & James Flitcroft.


Gildenhuys joined 2017 SA SBK

champ Michael White and top

Cape Town rider Trevor Westman

in the Mad Macs squad. Two

times SA Supersport champion,

Blaze Baker, was part of the Lads

on Tour/RideFast team which

featured some international

flavour in the form of former

Red Bull Rookies Cup rider James

Flitcroft and Moto3 team-mates

Darryn Binder and Tom Booth

Amos, who had flown over from

the UK to take part in this event.

The rules for the race were

simple; pretty much stock

standard Honda CBR150cc

machines with some slight mods

allowed with a minimum of 3

riders per team and a maximum

of 4. Each rider was not allowed

more than 45 minutes on track

and Motul refueling jugs were

supplied for all teams to use in a

specially marked off area.

The first bit of track action on

the day was that of the qualifying

session, which saw team Fire

it Up! come out on pole ahead

of Team Lads on Tour/RideFast

magazine and team Mad Macs

rounding out the top 3.

At exactly 9am the race

got underway with a classic

Endurance styled start with

riders having to run to their

machines before jumping on and

heading off.

It was Darryn Binder who took

the early lead, but he was closely

followed by another international

SA Star in the form of Dorren

Lourerio. It was a frantic start to

the race with both stars going at

it sprint race style for the opening

30minutes before Dorren pulled

into the pits to hand over to Chris

Wright. Doz was not feeling 100%

on the day and with the searing

heat (temps up in the 32-degree

range for most of the day) the

team, with only 3 riders, decided

to go with shorter stints to help

try keep the riders as fresh as


After the first hour of racing,

with plenty of action out on

track, it was team Lads on Tour

who held a slender lead over

team Fire it Up!. Clint Seller on

the team Massive bike (88) held

down a solid 3rd place ahead of

Team Master Class (14).

Positions chopped and

changed over the course of

the first 3 hours with teams

opting for different strategies.

The battle out front was most

certainly between Lads on Tour/

RideFast and Fire it Up!, who were

both setting lap record pace on

every lap. Tom Booth Amos was

particular fast and managed to

open up a bit of a margin over the

hard charging Chris Wright, who

at the tender age of 14 was just

about matching the Moto3 star

and proving just what a talent

he really is. Both riders swapped

fastest times with every passing

lap and at the half way stage of

the race only 1 lap was separating

the two teams.

Behind them, team Massive

suffered some problems, which

dropped them down the field

promoting team Air Systems

Racing (69) up into 3rd. Team

Master Class was right on their

tales and the battle for the

podium spot was just as exciting

as the one for top spot.

Endurance racing like this is all

about consistency and heading

into the 6th hour the first big

mistake was made. Team Lads

on Tour/RideFast had managed

to pull out a healthy 4 lap lead

over Fire it Up! before disaster

struck. James Flitcroft, who was

out on track for his 2nd stint in

the saddle, tucked the front-end

heading into one of the tight left

handers crashing out. Luckily for

him he was not injured but the

same could not be said for the

bike, which was brought back

into the pits and needed some

attention. The left footpeg had

broken off and after almost

10min spent in the pits fixing the

bike they finally head back out

on track. That put a huge dent in

their efforts to win as when they

rejoined they found themselves

11-laps behind team Fire it Up!,

who were just churning our

consistent, fast times and not

making any mistakes. That was

until Jesse Boshoff, their 3rd rider

had a coming together with a

rider from team Kamikaze Pilots

(15) heading into turn one. A big

collision between the two saw

Jesse Boshoff just manage to

hold onto to his machine, while

the other rider was not so lucky.

The safety bike was deployed

while the ambulance attended to

the rider who took a big knock to

the head. Thankfully not serious

and after a good 10-min behind

the safety bike racing resumed

with team Fire it Up! still holding

a commanding lead out front

ahead of the now hard charging

team Lads on Tour/RideFast with

riders Darryn Binder and Tom

Booth Amos putting in long, hard,

fast 45min stints at just about lap

record pace even after close on 7

hours of racing.

Dunlop Moto3 slicks were

pretty much the tyre choice for

all and they impressed with the

amount of grip available even

after hours of abuse. Only 1 set

being used by all the teams for the

entire 9-hour race, proving what

good quality they are.


Try as they might team Lads on Tour

just could not break the resistance of

team Fire it Up! who were relentless in

their pursuit of the title and eventually,

after 9 grueling hours of racing in the

searing heat, would go on to cross the

line and take the overall win and the

R100k purse. Lads on Tour would take

2nd spot and the R30k prize money with

the very impressive Air Systems Racing

team taking the final podium spot and

the R20k, proving that consistency is the

key to endurance racing.

Team Master Class would take 4th

overall and the R10k prize money with

team Mad Macs, who’s machine broke

at the start of the race costing them

22 laps, taking the R750 MotoMate

voucher for 5th place after a sublime

recovery. Team GFP took 6th place

and a R500 MotoMate voucher ahead

of Kamikaze Pilots who took the final

MotoMate voucher in 7th.

Despite there only being 11 entries,

the racing action on track was world

class and the spectators who made

the trip out were treated to some of

the best two-wheeled racing action of

the season. It was an awesome event

enjoyed by all and plans are already

being made for a bigger and better

event for 2020 so make sure you

keep a look out on the IUM 9 Hour and

RideFast Magazine Facebook pages for

more information.








Pop into one of the Planes Trains Automobiles stores

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For those outside JHB wanting to enter simply get

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While you are in-store make sure you take your copy

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the EXCLUSIVE specials they have for all readers.

This competition is exclusive to RideFast and PTA.

Entries close 31st January 2020.



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Colin Windell takes us

through the excitment that

has been the 2019 KZN Road

Racing season.

Kwa-Zulu Natal may the

country’s premier ‘chillax’ goto

destination but it also produces

some of the most feral twowheel

racing in the country along

with a litany of top flight riders –

think Kork Ballington, Jon Ekerold

and Alan North as chapter in that

history book.

Right now we are talking

Matthew Scholtz, Supersport

Champion Blaze Baker and the

man who could be king if only he

could get a properly backed ride,

Malcolm Rudman.

Any current story about

racing KZN – at Dezzi Raceway,

Oslo Beach – is going to involve

Rudman and he finished the

season with title in both the

300 Class and Formula Extreme

category, winning both by a

sizeable margin, which speaks

to both his dedication and

prodigious talent.

Also known for producing

near vertical victory wheelies,

the young rider had backing

from M-Projects for the season

that began in February where

he aced two heat victories in the

300 Class and told me: “I know

Blaze (Baker) is coming for me

this year, so I cannot afford to

make any mistakes. There is also

going to be pressure from Jesse

Conci and Drew Gates is getting

quicker with each outing.”

The 300 Class is a mix of 300,

300 Master and Powersport and

is the fastest growing formula

in the province with upwards of

26 regular starters, fleshed out

by those who can afford only a

few races a year and occasional

visitors from up county such as

Jesse Boshoff. For 2020 the KZN

Road Racing Club is expecting at

least 34 regular starters.

In all Rudman won 14 out of

16 starts on his Kawasaki 400

and, while it may look like total

domination, it was far from that

and he had to work hard for

each win with the pressure he

predicted coming from those

he expected plus Nikolai Conci

on the Helluvafast Motorcycles

Yamaha R3 scoring a heat win

at the April meeting. Blaze Baker

took the chequer in the second

heat of the October meeting

to be the only other rider to be

ahead of Rudman.

Behind Rudman, throughout

the season it was always a

bunfight between Baker, Conci and

Red Bull Rookie candidate, Drew

Gates on the Ross Champion KTM

390 with the points tally at the end

of it all: Rudman (436), Baker (336),

Gates (209), Nicolai Conci (158) and

Joshua Garvie, Actum Kawasaki

300, (142).

In the 300 Masters category

Shaun du Preez (KTM Durban

KTM RC390) took 390 points

out of the season to win

the championship relatively

comfortably even with a

couple of mid-season hiccups

over Desmond Samuels (DES

Engineering Kawasaki Ninja 300)

on 227 and Martin Osner (Honda

CBR 250) on 211 with Gona Pillay

on the Actum/Band-It Kawasaki

400 on 206.

Pillay has been the driving

force behind the 300 Class

and its growth over the past

couple of seasons, providing

sponsorships and even loaner

motorycles when needed.

In the Master category the

season was dominated by the

tussle between Lllewelyn Puren

(Honda NSR 426) and Duncan

Day (Yamaha 450) until the

September race when he and

Lady racer



Vince de Bock (99)

leads Sanjiv Singh (33)

and Roy Hallett (80).

Lee Singh


in his Dad’s



Puren tangled near the end of a lap with Day suffering

a concussion and having to sit out the October race

meeting. He came back strong for the final round, scoring

one race win and once second place behind Puren.

Puren finished on 380 points with Day on 279, ahead

of Bruce Cuthbert (EIS Engineering Yamaha YZ 450) on

263 – his efforts improving steadily during the year from

midfield to front running. Fourth was Roy Hallett (Honda

CRF 450) on 157.

In the ‘we know no fear’ category – the Super

Motards – Hein Etzel was super dominant on the Argotek

Husvarana 450 despite missing the final meeting of the

year after breaking a leg in crash on an off-road event.

His 331 points gave him the title with Ryan Matchett

(Husqvarna 450) finishing as runner up on 263 points,

just ahead of Craig Bishop (KTM Durban KTM 450).

Karl Etzel, who missed a couple of meetings during

the year with other commitments, had to settle for fourth

overall on his Auto Rust Control Husqvarna 450, sadly

rather eliminating the expected Etzel brothers battle.

However, keeping it in the family was Claus Etzel who

had a superb tussle through the season with eventual

champion, Justin Mathie (Fine Metals Husvarna 450).

Etzel (Tin Roof Products Husqvaran 450) finished

on 361 points with Mathie racking up 348. Third was

Haydn Nadauld (Yamaha 450) on 203 ahead of Craig

Dunnington (Galleria PnP KTM 450) on 172.

Rudman (M-Projects Kawasaki ZX6) was nigh

unstoppable in the Formula Extreme class, winning eight

heats on the trot and then adding a further four which,

together with a couple of second places and even two

thirds, gave him a total of 417 points for the season.

Jay Baxendale – Yamaha R6 mounted – chased hard

to be rewarded with second overall for the season

with 241 points to the 206 of Clinton Massey-Hicks on

the Rokkit Honda CBR 600 and then the late find of the

season, Robin Aldred on a Kawasaki ZX 300 on 175 points

– having done just six heats the whole year.

The first heat of the final day of racing was mighty

with Aldred absolutely fired up and all over Rudman like a

rash, finally winning the encounter and trailing him home

by millisencds in the second heat of the day.

The CBR150 class is also growing in popularity

as well as race intensity with three riders regularly

pushing the envelope to eke out a win. At the close of

the season it was Shaun Joffe on a TZR 85 that took the

title scoring 355 points to the 322 of young Lee Singh on

the DblApx Honda.

It might have different had Singh not missed one race

meeting having been grounded by Dad, Sanjiv. At just

12 years old, Singh is very much a rising star and has a

bright future ahead of him.

Vincent de Bock finished up third on 263 points ahead

of Cazir Naroth with the expected challenge from Jessie

Conci fading mid-season when he has a fall coming out

of Turn 1. While he scampered to safety the stricken bike

ended up right in the path of Sanjiv Singh and he nailed it

hard (as well as himself), leaving Conci with no ride for a

couple of races.

Despite that crash, Singh finished up third overall

in the CBR 150 Masters on 279 points behind overall

winner Llewelyn Puren on 275 with Zane Davidson

second on 336.

The KZN Road Racing Club is committed to enabling

young riders (under 12) and runs a Mini GP championship

that was won this year by Riley Day, from Rylee Puren,

Quin St John Ward and Hannah Puren.

Dats for 2020 have not yet been finalised but

whatever they are, it is going to be a hectic year of

awesome racing at Dezzi.

Hein Etzel

Jesse Conci gets it all

wrong at the start.

Llewelyn Puren

Robin Aldred

leads Malcolm




BMW Motorrad SA ambassador and racer Lance Isaacs gets his first taste of the all-new

BMW S1000RR M Sport at the recent M Festival held at Kyalami. He tells us what he thinks...

So, with receiving the new BMW

S1000RR M Sport it was like (Cliché)

Love at first sight. It’s been long

awaited and to finally have the bike in

our garage was a breathe of fresh air

and very stimulating - I’m not sure who

was more excited, my tech Dean or

myself? I think it was Dean at first, but

that quickly changed after throttling it

around Kyalami at the recent M Fest.

After running the bike in for a

few hundred kilometres, Dean and

I decided to do a direct comparison

back-to-back on the dyno and straight

out the box the new bike is stronger

than my fully prepped 2018 race bike,

which ended up 2nd in the overall

1000cc National championship, so she

is no slouch. With stock gearing, still

run-in oil, this bike is nothing short of


With respect to riding the bike at

the BMW M Fest, the least we could

do was put a full Akro exhaust system,

just to make some proper noise and

stun the crowds.

From the first lap, my impression

was that this bike accelerates faster,

turns faster, brakes harder and later,

so this bike has improved in every

aspect, from top to bottom.

The Shift-Cam tech really does

give it a bit more punch low down and

this all happens smoother than ever


In fact, everything about this new

bike is smooth - from the stunning

racy looks (even in stock road trim) to

the way it accelerates and handles.

I had been told by your Editor Rob

Portman just how amazing this bike

was/is and I no cannot argue with him.

Like an enthusiastic kid at

Christmas I have been waiting

impatiently for this new bike to arrive

and finally it has. Everything about it

feels intoxicating and leaps above the

previous gen.

I can definitely see us breaking all

the lap records on this bike once we

have it in full race trim.

We’ve already got it stripped down

and busy building the bike to be ridden

in anger and I look forward to Rob

having the exclusive first test on the

bike when it’s ready.







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