The South African Superbike Championship moves to the tough East London circuit for rounds seven and eight this weekend.

The South African Superbike Championship moves to the tough East London circuit for rounds seven and eight this weekend.

After six of the season’s 20 races, First Technology Yamaha rider Shaun Whyte tops the standings on 91 points. Second, a mere three points adrift, is current South African Superbike champion and Autopage Cellular Yamaha team leader Russell Wood.

Third and fourth, respectively on 67 and 64 points, are Hudson Kennaugh (Cell C Suzuki) and Arushen Moodley (First Technology Yamaha).

With a total of 40 points on offer, any of these riders could leave East London as the overall championship leader.

With very little to choose between the Yamaha and Suzuki brigades in terms of straight-forward performance, ultra-close slipstreaming battles are expected in both of next Saturday’s races. Close enough to benefit from any mistakes by the top nine will be Inala Kawasaki riders Greame van Breda and Garth Norris, plus Yamaha veteran Gavin Ramsay.

The circuit has the country’s two fastest corners, with top riders taking the infamous Potters Pass Bend at over 220 km/h, followed by the Rifle Range Sweep at 260 km/h. Adding to riders’ difficulties is a tight and twisty infield, which demands various compromises in terms of suspension set-up and gearing.