Michael dominates Rustenburg as Kawasaki riders star

It was not as easy for SA Cross Country legend Kenny Gilbert, who had to fight back after an early tumble.

Michael Pentecost topped another great day of Gauteng Cross Country Racing for Kawasaki at Rustenburg’s second round on Saturday as Kawasaki riders scored podiums across the board.

Kawasaki’s GXCC champion, Pentecost, added a second, compelling overall and OR1 class win on the trot aboard his Franchise Co. Tork Craft KX 450 X, with teammate Tyron Beverly third.

Taki Bogiages bounced back from injury with a fine second in 250cc OR3 for Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul racing with Scottish Cables, with John Botha fifth for Franchise Co.


Kawasakis also featured in the senior and junior classes, as Pepson pair Kenny Gilbert fought back to second in seniors with Lee Thompson third.

Jaden Els, meanwhile, ended second in 85cc juniors with Franchise Co. teammate Johandre Vermaak fourth in 85cc senior, and Pepson’s Clayton Human 13th in junior.

Pepson Plastics lads Dylan Human ended ninth and early leader Jake Pretorius 11th in a competitive 65cc class after a troubled second half. Danel Delport rounded the day off with yet another podium third in ladies in Pro Am.


“I had a great lead up to this race with my training and diet thanks to my wife,” Pentecost explained. “And when we got here, our whole Franchise Co. Kawasaki Team team was in the right head space, so we were able to deliver an absolutely dominant ride. I made a good start and enjoyed a flawless race, but it was rough and dusty, so I took no chances and just had a smooth day, despite Gareth Cole and my teammate Tyron also keeping the pressure on. Special thanks to Mr Harry Grobler and my very professional team!”

Jaden Els.

Bogiages was delighted to shake his beginning-of-season injury woes off and deliver a fine second in OR3. “I worked hard to get back to fitness and today was just reward for my Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team,” he reflected.

“Rustenburg was a tough and dusty race, but my Kawasaki KX 250 X ran like a train. I had a big crash on lap 3, but I’m very happy to walk away without injury. Thank you to Iain Pepper and my team. It’s onward and upward from here, starting with the KZN national. I am really looking forward to the rest of the season!”


It was not as easy for SA Cross Country legend Kenny Gilbert, who had to fight back after an early tumble. “It didn’t go quite as planned!” he admitted. “I crashed at the start, going over my KX 450 X’s handlebars through the tyre section. That moved my handlebars backwards and dropped me to last. The dust was the biggest challenge from there, so I just went into cruise mode to get some laps in. Thanks to the team for another great weekend.”

Most fans know Lee Thompson for his tin-top exploits in circuit car racing, but he is also making a name for himself in cross-country racing, with a second seniors podium in two races aboard his Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul KX 250 X. “That was another great outing in seniors with both Kenny and I getting to the podium,” Thompson admitted. “Thank you to Iain and the team for a great day and special thanks to cross-country racing maestro Kenny Gilbert for sharing all his experience with me!”


“We are having a great season so far,” Franchise Co. Tork Craft Kawasaki team boss Harry Grobler confirmed. Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul principal Iain Pepper concluded: “The overall win and a handful of podiums is another very good result, so well done to the entire team. Bring that 26 March KZN National on!” Source: MotorsportMedia

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