GET READY FOR THE THUNDER

After a nail-biting start to the season, it’s clear that the 2018 National Motocross Championship will be one of the most competitive yet.

The Red Bull KTM squad is gearing up for round two, which will take place in Thunder Valley, Pietermaritzburg, this weekend.

With a strong group of ten riders battling it out for the premiere MX1 and MX2 title, Kerim Fitz-Gerald is prepared to give it his all for the rest of the season: “It’s a tight season! The guys are all riding well at the moment. I’ve identified a couple of riders who I know will be a force to be reckoned with this weekend, but anything can happen. There are often guys who come out of nowhere and really perform.”

Kerim Fitz-Gerald at the first round of the National MX Championship, Picture by Daniel Coetzee for www.zcmc.co.za.

Undaunted by the stiff competition and glad to have the sandy season opener out of the way, Fitz-Gerald is particularly excited about getting onto the Pietermaritzburg track:

“It’s time to get back to the hard-pack stuff, back to ruts, and back to my style of racing! Sand really isn’t my strongest point, so walking away with two good results in PE felt like a win. I’ve been to Pietermaritzburg a few times this year to practise – I’ve always loved this track. Really looking forward to it,” he said.

Red Bull KTM teammate, Ross Branch, will make his long-awaited return to the motocross scene this weekend. The rider was forced to sit the first event out after battling with an ongoing injury and plans to come back swinging.

“This season marks 25 years of racing for me, so it’s really nice to be lining up next to the best riders in South Africa. I’m going to give it my best shot and put the KTM 450 SX-F on the podium again,” said Branch.

Joshua Mlimi sets his sights on a comeback at the second round of the National MX Championship, Picture by Daniel Coetzee for www.zcmc.co.za.

MX2’s Joshua Mlimi has shaken off the dust after the first round, which did not go as well as he had hoped.

With his sights set on a comeback, he’s eager to line up on Saturday. “It’s been a positive time working on things I wanted to improve, and I’ve been able to make some solid progress. I’m quite excited to put the pieces together this weekend,” says Mlimi.

Red Bull KTM’s young guns will once again be hot contenders.

Camden Mc Lellan made the step up to the High School this year, and was off to a promising start when he finished on the podium at the first roundMc Lellan says he gained a valuable lesson from his debut experience: “The biggest thing that first race taught me is how important it is to get a proper start. I’m riding with the big boys now, so I need to get up front and get a feel for their pace right from the start.”

Nate Mc Lellan’s Pro Mini debut, Picture by Daniel Coetzee for www.zcmc.co.za.

Jonathan Mlimi and Nate Mc Lellan completely dominated the season opener on their debut Pro Mini attempt, finishing first and second respectively.

The younger of the Mc Lellan brothers looks forward to tackling a challenging track: “The Pietermaritzburg track usually gets pretty tough at the end, which I personally enjoy riding on. There’s going to be some exciting racing on Saturday!”