The pre-event favorite won yet again, but the supporting cast is getting resentful, and closer. -
- That was the story at the Port Elizabeth Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday, during rounds seven and eight of this year’s LeopardRock.com South African Superbike Championship. Cell C Suzuki rider Hudson “Hurricane” Kennaugh was expected to win both of the day’s races, and he duly did so, to further entrench his lead in this year’s most prestigious South African two-wheeler title chase. -
- Kennaugh did not get the victories on a plate though. During Saturday morning’s Official Qualifying session, Noel Haarhof (Imtech Suzuki) set the quickest lap time, followed on the starting grid by Russell Wood (Autopage Cellular Yamaha), Robert Cragg (Kawasaki) and Kennaugh. -
- Meanwhile Mecer Ducati racer Lance Isaacs parted company with his 999S in the Toyota Hairpin, breaking a shoulder blade and collarbone in the process. Wood grabbed the ead on his Yamaha at the start of the opening race, but it only took Kennaugh one lap to restore the current status quo, while early challenger Noel Haarhof slid off the circuit with his Suzuki. Cell C Suzuki’s Trevor Crookes snatched second place three laps later, and the pairing went on to take the first two places. Behind them, Yamaha riders Wood and Dreyer plus Cragg on his new Kawasaki indulged in a huge dice, eventually crossing the line in that order – covered by two tenths of a second. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth places went to the First Technology Honda team’s Arushen Moodley, Sheridan Morias and Shaun Whyte. Stewart MacLeod (Kawasaki) and Robert Portman (Mecer Ducati) filled out the top ten placings. -
- Drama struck during the warmup lap for race two when oil, left in the pit corner after a Production Car engine blowup, caught out a number of riders. Stewart MacLeod and Robert Cragg dropped their Kawasakis, Hudson Kennaugh followed suit with his Suzuki and Darryn Upton crashed his Kreepy Krauly Bioguard Yamaha R6 heavily while avoiding their fallen machines. The race was postponed and all the affected riders luckily managed to repair their damaged motorcycles. -
- When the race was eventually run, Kennaugh and his Cell C Suzuki led from flag to flag. He was, however, hounded all the way by Greg Dreyer, with the Autopage Cellular Yamaha rider just four tenths of a second behind at the finish. Equally impressive in third place was Sheridan Morias, who caught the two leaders rapidly with his Honda in the closing stages to eventually finish just three tenths of a second behind Dreyer. Morias also managed to set the day’s quickest time, to take the Aldo Scribante circuit’s overall motorcycle lap record for the First Technology team. Fourth, fifth and sixth – again after a race-long tussle – were Yamaha’s Russell Wood, Honda’s Shaun Whyte and Robert Cragg on his Kawasaki. While doing battle with the above trio, Trevor Crookes slid his Cell C Suzuki off the circuit at the end of the pit straight, dropping him to an eventual 13th place. Noel Haarhof ended up seventh with his Suzuki, leading home Arushen Moodley’s Honda, Greame van Breda’s Kreepy Krauly Yamaha and the Ducati of Robert Portman.