The Autopage Cellular Yamaha team will tackle Rounds 15 and 16 of this year’s South African Superbike Championship with confidence at the Phakisa Raceway this Saturday (October 4). This follows two days of intensive testing at the Free State circuit two weeks ago, when the Autopage Cellular- and First Technology Yamaha teams combined their expertise to prepare for this weekend’s challenges. -

- Going to Phakisa, Autopage Cellular Yamaha team captain Russell Wood tops this year’s national Superbike title chase, with 201 points behind his name. His closest challengers, respectively on 185 and 182 points, are Cell C Suzuki racer Hudson Kennaugh and First Technology Yamaha’s Sean Whyte. -

- With 40 points on offer this Saturday, mistakes could see defending South African Champion Wood lose his perch at the top of the points log. -

- “We do not intend making mistakes,” Wood said this week. “Our three Yamahas, ridden on Metzeller rubber by Greg Dreyer, Charles Grassie and myself, returned consistent test results on Phakisa. That is extremely important at the circuit, where tyre choice has always played a vital role,” he added. “The circuit has been resurfaced since we last raced there, which has made it a lot less bumpy and more tyre-friendly than before. That means that we might have to decide on particular compounds as late as Saturday morning, bearing in mind that we have to complete Official Qualifying plus both races on the same set of rubber,” Wood said. -

- He anticipates extremely close competition, since the Cell C Suzuki equipe tested at Phakisa last week, equalling the Yamaha squads’ best times. “Then, we have to keep an eye on the Inala Kawasaki team’s Greame van Breda and Garth Norris as well - they certainly showed that they were on podium pace at Kyalami the last time out.” -

- “At the end of the day, the biggest winners will be the spectators and television viewers, who will get treated on South Africa’s best motorsport show during Saturday’s two Superbike events,” Wood concluded. -

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