Blaze Baker (King Price Extreme/BikeFin Yamaha R6) went to Phakisa Freeway for the final round of the 2018 SuperGP Champions Trophy on Saturday, 22 September with a slender five-point lead over his closest rival, Adolf Boshoff (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600).
Two races and two wins later the KwaZulu-Natal rider claimed his first Super600 championship. In the Super300 standings, Kewyn Snyman (The Mag Workshop KTM RC390) held a 21-point advantage over Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme/BikeFin Honda) and, although Iozzo won both heats, a third place, followed up by second was enough to give him the title. Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), who wrapped up the premier SuperGP championship last time out at Aldo Scribante, took both 1000cc heats.
Clint Seller (King Price Extreme/BikeFin Yamaha R1) was quickest on Friday, topping the timesheets in all four practice sessions, before going on to claim pole position with a lap almost one-and-a-half seconds quicker than White. David McFadden, out for the first time on his new RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1, completed the front row. Dylan Barnard (Yamaha R1) headed the second row of the grid with the Ducatis of Christo Rheeders and Hendrik Fourie alongside him.
In the opening heat, Seller opened up a substantial gap, but as his rear tyre slowly started losing grip, White closed the gap and was able to find a way through shortly after half-distance. The newly-crowned champion was then able to pull away and took a comfortable win. McFadden, who had a poor start, worked his way back up through the field and by the end was less than a second behind Seller, giving his new bike a podium finish in its first race. Barnard claimed fourth.
Race 2 was almost a repeat of the opening heat, with Seller again opening an initial gap before being chased down and eventually passed by White. McFadden and Barnard swapped positions a few times before the Capetonian was able to pull away and take his second podium finish of the day. Barnard was followed home by David Buckham (Ducati).
White’s two wins confirmed his place at the top of the 2018 championship log. Seller claimed the runners-up spot from Daryn Upton (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 1000), who missed the final round.
Like his teammate in the premier class, Baker topped the timesheets in all of Friday’s Super600 practice sessions before going on to claim pole position from Boshoff. Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Kawasaki ZX6) was next up with Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling/Keating & Jansen Kawasaki ZX6), Jared Schultz (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) and Dian Nelson (TRD Motorcycles Yamaha R6) completing the second row.
Baker used his pole position to good advantage, grabbing the hole-shot into the first corner and going on to open up a huge gap over his championship rival, eventually crossing the line over 10 seconds ahead of Boshoff. The expected three-way fight for the final podium position ended up as a battle between Bester and Schultz after Staffen crashed through the final sweep at over 200 km/h in the morning warm-up session, ending his day. Bester was able to take third and cement his grip on third in the championship standing. Schultz finished fourth with Nelson and Gareth Gehlig (Formula Autos/RPM Centre Kawasaki ZX6) rounding out the top six.
Although he only needed to finish second behind Boshoff to claim the 2018 championship in the second heat, Baker again grabbed the lead from the start and disappeared down the road, taking another comfortable win and with it the 2018 Super600 title. Boshoff did what he could but had to settle for second on the road and in the championship. Bester made life difficult for himself with a few errors but was able to get things back together and move into third place just before halfway. He then opened a slight gap to Schultz to take the final podium position and ensure his third place in the championship. Schultz was again fourth ahead of Nelson with Luca Balona (Armadillo Concepts/Fibre Tech Kawasaki ZX6), who had a big crash in the opening race, bouncing back to take sixth.
After a disappointing outing at Aldo Scribante, Iozzo had only a mathematical chance of winning the 2018 Super300 championship. Like his King Price Extreme/BikeFin stablemates, he was the pick of the field all through Friday, topping the timesheets in each session before claiming pole position in qualifying. Championship leader Snyman was next up with Ryno Pretorius (Pretorius Blomme Yamaha R3) completing the front row. In a repeat of the grid in Port Elizabeth, Chase Hulscher (Uncle Andy Racing / Motul KTM RC390) got the better of Taric van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition Yamaha R3) to head row two with Clinton Fourie (NCA Plant Hire / Kimco Yamaha R3) rounding out the top six.
In the opening race, Iozzo grabbed the lead from the start and went on to a comfortable win. Behind him a three-way fight for the minor podium positions went down to the wire, van der Merwe eventually emerging in second with Snyman and Hulscher in his wheel track. Pretorius got the better of his race-long duel with Fourie to take fifth.
In the final race, Snyman needed to finish fourth or better to make sure of the 2018 title. As in the opening heat, Iozzo grabbed the lead and opened up a huge gap at the front. Snyman was able to break away from the rest of the chasing pack and was able to run his own race in second to claim the championship crown. Behind him, van der Merwe, Pretorius and Hulscher were involved in an enthralling fight, which eventually finished in that order. Fourie was again sixth.
Despite two wins on the day, Iozzo had to settle for second in the championship behind Snyman with van der Merwe in third.
Thomas Brown (Rehab Racing Ducati) won both BOTTS races to retain his championship crown. In both races, he was followed home by James Harper (Moto Uno Ducati) and Mick Landi.
Published by: Paul Bedford
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