Shaun Whyte scored his first-ever national superbike championship victory for the First Technology Yamaha team at Killarney on Saturday.
Shaun Whyte scored his first-ever national Superbike Championship victory for the First Technology Yamaha team at Killarney on Saturday.
Autopage Cellular Yamaha’s Russell Wood claimed the first race of the day and looked set to triumph in the second race, but while leading on the final lap, Wood drifted wide through the 200 km/h Sabat Sweep and spent the next 200 m snaking over wet grass on the Yamaha. Whyte then raced to victory.
Rounds three and four of the championship saw Wood and Greg Dreyer on the front row of the grid in rainy and slippery conditions in the Cape. They were ahead of Noel Haarhoff (Cell C Suzuki), Whyte, Stewart MacLeod (Cell C Suzuki), Alex Lenearts (First Technology Yamaha), Arushen Moodley (First Technology Yamaha), plus Cell C Suzuki team-mates Trevor Crookes and Hudson Kennaugh.
The conditions soon claimed a few victims with Garth Norris (Inala Kawasaki) falling on the fourth tour, while Haarhoff slipped off his Suzuki in the Cell C Corner a lap later.
Dreyer suffered the biggest crash. Coming out of the Engen Oval at about 140 km/h, he high-sided his Yamaha and was hit by the tumbling motorcycle while skidding through the gravel trap. Dreyer, who was riding with a broken right foot, suffered severe injuries to his left foot and was taken to hospital. He will undergo an operation during the week.
“I feel for Greg, who was heroic to race with a broken right foot in the first place. It is terrible when a rider goes through a phase where he seems to get injured every time he has a crash, and Greg seems to be doing just that,” said Wood.
Wood finally won, six-hundreths of a second ahead of Whyte, with Moodley a further tenth of a second adrift.
The second race started in sunshine, with most of the field opting for dry-weather tyres. But then on lap two the rain hit Killarney leading to a few accidents.
Alex Lenearts dumped his First Technology Yamaha in the Engen Oval, causing James Barson (Suzuki) and Lance Isaacs (Ducati) to fall as they tried to avoid him. Then Greame van Breda crashed his Inala Kawasaki at the end of the back straight, while Trevor Crookes and MacLeod both crashed. Whyte won the second race ahead of Wood, Moodley, Isaacs, MacLeod and Crookes.
The next two rounds of the SA superbike championship will take place at the Eastern Cape Aldo Scribante circuit on April 12.