15-year-old from Mondeor shines as a motorcycle enthusiast

KJ wants to work harder to further his motor racing career, with an ultimate goal to reach a level of the Redbull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Europe.

Kgopotso Mononyane ‘the second’, also known as KJ of Mondeor, is a motorcycle enthusiast who lives, breathes, and sleeps motorcycles.

Mononyane, only 15, is a rising star who recalls his first ‘break’ in 2017 and has never looked back.

The Grade Nine Waterstone College learner had the desire to participate in motorcycle sports since he was five years old, but his parents thought it was too dangerous. However, this didn’t stop KJ from expressing an interest in riding and dreaming of a career on the motorcycle racing circuit.

KJ began competing in the NSF100cc Honda Cup short circuit road racing series in 2017 (when he was 10 years old) and won the championship in 2019.

KJ’s personal mechanic from Italy Daniele Petrolati in Imola’s last race of the season.

KJ won the Clubman’s Championship again in 2020 and finished second in the 150 Cup, which he won the following year. In the middle of the racing season in June 2021, he began competing in Italy. To date, he has won numerous circuit motorcycle racing championships.

Tragically, his father is no longer alive to encourage him and witness the incredible progress KJ is making in the sport, but his mother is steadfastly by his side to help him achieve his dreams.

KJ’s father, Kgopotso Mononyane, an anaesthetist, was killed in a helicopter crash in KwaZulu-Natal on January 21, 2021, along with five of his Netcare 911 colleagues, while en route to transport a critically ill Covid-19 patient to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

KJ racing ar the Misano racing track.

His mentor Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South, believes KJ was ‘born to be a champion and is honouring his father’s memory with his commitment to motorcycle racing.

“There is nothing more satisfying and intriguing than seeing a young rider cling to their dream, pursue it, and subsequently live it. Champions are made of resilience and a burning desire to succeed. We are so proud of KJ and honoured to be by his side as he grows from strength to strength,” said Scholtz.

KJ and his late father.

“This year, MSA was able to secure funding for KJ from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the global sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. While this was only a small portion of the required racing budget, it was greatly appreciated.

MSA’s main goal, according to Scholtz, is to encourage talented young riders. “We’d like to see more of our young talent competing internationally as well,” Scholtz added.

According to his mother, Kgomotso Mononyane, dedication and commitment are essential for success in the sport, but riders must also be professional, self-disciplined, and adhere to the ‘rules of the game’.

KJ’s manager Valerie Wikies WMS Motorsport.

“His father believed so strongly in his son’s potential that he signed a contract and submitted it to the team in Italy the day before he died. His proudest achievement was signing this contract and he told me to always believe in our son.

“KJ will not disappoint his father. He views this sport as a career and said he will continue in it – even if he doesn’t get paid,” said Mononyane.

For KJ, he wants to work harder to further his racing career, with an ultimate goal to reach a level of Redbull MotoGP Rookies Cup in Europe.

“I would love to watch Fabio Quartararo in action one day and spend a day with him learning a few tricks. I am also inspired by our very own MotoGP icons, Brad and Darryn Binder,” KJ said.

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