Trevor Crookes and Hudson Kennaugh dominated the opening rounds of the SA Superbike Championship, but the series' next instalment, at Killarney on Saturday, will be a closer contest.

Trevor Crookes and Hudson Kennaugh dominated the opening rounds of the SA Superbike Championship, but the series' next instalment, at Killarney on Saturday, will be a closer contest.



Rounds 3 and 4 of this year's LeopardRock.com SA Superbike Championship will be riders' first visit to a coastal circuit since the competition format changed from modified 600cc motorcycles to near standard 1 000cc Superbikes. It will also mark the SA competition début for Aprilia - Arleness RSV 1000R Mille models will be campaigned by Garth Norris and Clinton Pienaar.


The year's opening race meeting on AA Kyalami at the end of February saw the Cell C Suzuki team's Trevor Crookes and Hudson Kennaugh win the day's respective two races easily on their older, race-tuned GSXR 1000Rs.


But during the past month, all other teams in series worked ceaselessly to fine-tune their brand new 1 000cc bikes for the rigours of circuit competition - and it will show at Killarney, says motorsport commentator and TV personality Andre de Kock.


Topping the entry list will be defending SA Superbike Champion Russell Wood and Autopage Cellular Yamaha team-mate and former champion Greg Dreyer on Yamaha YZF-R1s.


Both Wood and Dreyer should challenge for victories at Killarney, with Capetonian Dreyer enjoying strong support from the partisan crowd. Also on 2004 Yamaha YZF-R1s will be the Kreepy Krauly Biogard team of Gavin Ramsay and Graeme van Breda.


Honda's new CBR 1000 RR Fireblade bikes will be ridden by the First Technology team of Shaun Whyte, Arushen Moodley and youngster Sheridan Morias. The Fireblades have recorded impressive top speeds during testing - a characteristic that could serve the First Technology riders well down the Killarney circuit's long back straight.


Also in the fray - and hoping to overcome a slight horsepower disadvantage with their 999S models - will be the Ducati team's Stewart MacLeod, Lance Isaacs and Robert Portman.


Top privateers Noel Haarhoff (IM Tech Telecoms Suzuki GSXR 1000R), Donovan Fourie (Bike SA USN Honda CBR 1000), Rob Cragg (Suzuki GSXR 1000R) and Alex Lenaerts on a Yamaha YZF-R1 will also be in the fray.


Running quick machines in the 600cc category will be the likes of Dino de Wet (Autopage Cellular Yamaha), Tertius de Lange (Kreepy Krauly Yamaha), James Moodie (Kawasaki ZX6-RR) and Justin Fernandes on a Yamaha R6.