The 2018 Motul Roof of Africa saw a number of changes to the format of this iconic Extreme Enduro event. Competitors and spectators alike agreed that this latest Roof - the 51st edition - more than lived up to its billing as the Mother of Hard Enduro.
“We’re delighted with the response to the new format for this iconic event,” commented Motul Area Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mercia Jansen. “The ability of the Roof to adapt and remain both relevant and demanding means that this Extreme Enduro event has an exciting future,” she added.
One thing that did not change was the name on the trophy. After the reworked Round the Houses and Time Trial Prologue and two days of challenging high-altitude riding, 2017 champion Wade Young (Sherco Racing) was again victorious.
Event organiser Peter Luck professed himself happy with another successful Roof of Africa event. “Thanks to our sponsors and the people and government of Lesotho, we’ve been able to once again demonstrate that Africa can deliver world-class motorsports events,” he remarked.
The Roof of Africa is renowned for bringing rain to Lesotho, and this year was no exception. The clouds built up throughout the event, eventually breaking as an impressive thunderstorm on the evening of Day One. The deluge certainly added to the difficulty of the Roof, and no doubt accounted for the relatively high number of non-finishers in the Silver and Bronze Classes.
The traditional Round the Houses street race was replaced for 2018 by two laps of a custom-built circuit at the Maseru Mall. This gave spectators a chance to watch the action at close quarters before the riders headed into the mountains.
Competitors had to overcome numerous challenges, from rocky, technical sections to long stretches of mountainous terrain that tested their navigational skills. In the end, Young’s assertive approach (tempered by occasional moments of caution at river crossings) proved successful.
Young held off a strong challenge from Travis Teasdale (Beta), with Kyle Flanagan (Bidvest bLU cRU Yamaha) occupying the final Gold Class podium spot. The Silver Class was won by rising star Kayde Mante (RBS Yamaha), with veteran Warren Barwell (KTM) in second and Paul Grobler (also KTM) in third.
The Bronze Class featured many international contenders, but local riders Matt Burger (Leader Tread Husqvarna) and Hannes Saaijman (Q-KON EMD KTM) took the top two slots. Portugal’s Nuno Pereira (KTM) was the highest-placed overseas rider, in third position.
The importance of the Motul Roof of Africa to Lesotho was underlined by the participation of Prince Lerotholi Mohato Bereng Seeiso, Heir Apparent to the Throne, who opened the Round The Houses while Lady Mamonaheng Mokitimi, President of the Senate of Lesotho, and her colleague Dr. Nkaku Kabi, Lesotho’s Minister of Health both presented the Gold Class trophies.
The last word on the 2018 Motul Roof of Africa belongs to the rider who finished first. Wade Young - having won his fourth Roof – declared that the latest edition of the Mother of Hard Enduro had been a “gruelling, super-tough and really physical event”.
For full results visit http://racecontrol.co.za and for more information on the Roof of Africa go to; http://roofofafrica.info/
Issued by Listen Up on behalf of MOTUL South Africa:
Photography by: ZCMC Marketing
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