[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter two events at coastal circuits, the DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy moves inland for the third round of the 2017 championship, which takes place at Zwartkops Raceway, west of Pretoria on Saturday, 13 May.
At the first round in Cape Town, Clint Seller (MiWay Yamaha Racing R1) looked to have the measure of the rest of the 1000cc field when he took two comfortable wins, but by the time the series moved to East London a month later any one of six or seven riders could have taken victory. Seller still leads the championship standings but knows he has a fight on his hands if he wants to secure the 2017 title.
Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R) is 21 points adrift of the former champion and will be looking to build on the win he took in the first race in East London. The Cape Town based BMW S1000RR riders, David McFadden (RPM Centre / Sandton Auto BMW) and Lance Isaacs (Supabets / Sandton BMW Motorrad) are in a tie for third on the log. While Isaacs left East London happy with his results, McFadden was disappointed after having to fight his way through the field in each race after snapping his chain before he could set a lap time in qualifying.
Consistent top six finishes have put AJ Venter (Team Hygenica Yamaha Racing R1) into fifth place in the championship race. Sixth is occupied by Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), another rider disappointed with his East London points haul. After grabbing pole for the first race in the dying moments of qualifying, he was unable to turn it into a result when he had chain problems on the opening lap. He did, however, manage to get onto the podium in the second race.
Four podium finished in four races have put Hendrik de Bruin (Yamaha R1) in the lead of the SuperMasters category but he has Heinrich Rheeder (BMW Motorrad / Rheeder Racing BMW S1000RR) hot on his heels. Beau Levey (Moto Blu Cru Yamaha R1) holds third after a good showing in East London.
In the Super600 category Hayden Jonas has opened up a comfortable lead at the head of the championship table after finishing on the top two steps of the podium in all four races so far. He will be joining the MiWay Yamaha Racing squad from the Zwartkops round as a replacement for the injured Adolf Boshoff. The defending champion will miss the next couple of rounds while he recovers after a practice crash in East London.
Hayden’s closest rival is Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) who could have been much closer were it not for a crash while leading the opening race in East London. 2016 SuperJunior champion Aiden Liebenberg (Shop #74 / Fercor Construction Kawasaki ZX6) is next up with Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha Racing R6), who missed the East London round due to international racing commitments, just a couple of points adrift. Jesse Boshoff (Phoenix Payroll Systems Kawasaki ZX6) and Dino Iozzo (MiWay Yamaha Racing R6) round out the top six.
Taric van der Merwe’s dominant performance on the Evolve Nutrition KTM390 in East London has moved him to the top of the SuperJunior standings. He leads Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction KTM390) by eight points with Tyreece Robert (KTM390) in third. Sam Lochoff (Samurai Racing KTM390) is just a handful of points behind Robert while his teammate Jason Linaker and Luca Coccioni (RAD KTM390) complete the top six tied on 22 points.
The national classes will be supported by a full program of regional classes. As usual, practice and qualifying take place on Friday with two races for each category on Saturday. Spectators who arrive before 10h00 on Saturday morning with a donation of tinned food will be granted free entry to Zwartkops. All the food collected will be donated to a deserving charity close to the circuit.