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National Enduro Championship – Rounds 1-3 | KZN

This past weekend marked the opening race of the National Enduro Championship Series, held in the stunning yet demanding terrain of the Drakensberg area. The KTM Brother Leader Tread Enduro Team, featuring riders Will Slater, Dylan Jones, and rising star Matthew Stevens, faced a tough yet exhilarating three-round weekend.

The weekend introduced a new race format for the series, starting with a sprint race on Friday followed by two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was also a special, featuring two special timed sections where riders were only timed during these sections, allowing them to take it easy during the normal racing in between.

Will Slater experienced a weekend of mixed fortunes. In the first round, Slater’s performance was marred by a few mistakes finishing off fourth. He began the second round on a high note, leading the race but made a silly mistake and suffered a severe crash that led to a leg injury, forcing him to withdraw from the remainder of the event, including the third round.

He commented, “It was a bit of a challenging weekend and the new racing format didn’t play in my favour after crashing and hurting my leg on Saturday so there wasn’t any time for recovery. So it’s back to the drawing board for me but we will come back swinging for the next round!”

Dylan Jones had an eventful and grueling race. He secured a second-place finish in his class during the sprint race on Friday. However, the second round saw him encountering a mishap in a riverbed, where a sudden turn caused his hand to slip from the grip, resulting in a painful finger injury. Despite the pain, Jones managed to secure third place. The third round was equally challenging as he battled fever and severe pain in his finger, but he pushed through and managed to round off the podium at the end of the weekend.

“I’m not much of a sprint racer so I am stoked on my second on Friday”, said Jones on the sprint for round 1. He went on to say, “I was happy to also feel much stronger during the race on Sunday seeing that I had a fever, just glad that I was able to push through and looking forward to the next round.”

Matthew Stevens had a promising and rewarding weekend claiming to round wins in the highschool class. Reflecting on the event, Stevens said, “The past three days were quite tough overall but fun. The race got off to a slow start on Friday, but I managed to finish third.” Stevens blended masterful technique with exceptional poise to dominate the competition, clinching victory on Saturday despite a small misstep, Stevens capped off the weekend with another win on Sunday.

He said, “I felt really good this weekend, only making one mistake. The weekend was really good and I had a lot fun. I am really looking forward to the next round.”

Team Manager, Megan Prinsloo, praised the team’s efforts, saying, “It was a challenging weekend for the KTM Brother Leader Tread Enduro Team, but the determination and spirit shown by Will, Dylan, and Matthew were exceptional. We are very proud of Stevens taking two round wins this weekend in the highschool class. We’re looking forward to the next round and are confident that the team will continue to improve and achieve great results.”

The team now sets its sights on the next event in the series, which will feature another demanding three-round race. The KTM Brother Leader Tread Enduro Team remains focused and motivated, ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

Published by: Megan Prinsloo – KTM Motorcycles SA

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