Micheal Docherty turns SA Cross Country on its head

The Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle championship at Zorgfliet in Bronkhortspruit over the past weekend saw Docherty, based in Dubai, but now part of the Husqvarna team, set the tone for the rest of the season.

Docherty and his OR1 machine held fast-charging Factory Husqvarna teammate Brett Swanepoel’s OR2 winning machine off for overall honours in the GXCC run race, with the ever-improving Kerim Fitz-Gerald’s OR2 Red Bull KTM third from Scott Heygate’s similar Brother Leader Tread machine. Second in OR1 Michael Pentecost’s Tork Craft CIT Kawasaki was sixth.

His class rivals, Bradley Cox’s Brother Leader Tread KTM, Hayden Louw’s CIT Tork Craft Honda and Jaycee Nienaber on a Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki were next from Erik Merry’s OR2 KTM.

OR3 winner Taki Bogiages’ Pepson Scottish Motul Kawasaki closed off the top ten. Fellow Kawasaki men, Kenny Gilbert took Seniors and Warrick van Schalkwyk Masters, while Cobus Bester won High School on his Husqvarna, Bruno Niebuhr 85cc on a KTM and Werner Kleinhans’ IPC Husqvarna 65cc.

Docherty laid down his marker from the get-go over OR2 leader Fitz-Gerald, Swanepoel, Gareth Cole’s Honda, Heygate and top OR3 machine, Matthew Wilson’s KTM in the time trial.

Mike Pentecost.

The top three remained unchanged at mid-distance, but Heygate, Cox and Pentecost had disposed of Cole.

As he often does, Swanepoel was on fire as the race wound down to the finish. He tore past Fitz-Gerald and chased after Docherty, taking almost two minutes out of his teammate in the process.

But it was still too little, to late as Docherty hung on to win by just ten seconds. Fitz-Gerald rode home to another podium in third ahead of Heygate, but Pentecost and his green machine beat his OR1 rival Cox’s orange bike to sixth. In the classes, Docherty beat class championship leader Pentecost and Cox to OR1 honours, with Hayden Louw’s Yamaha fourth from Kawasaki trio Jaycee Nienaber, Tyron Beverley and Brendan Kotze and the delayed Gareth Cole Honda.

Swanepoel took OR2 from Fitz-Gerald, Scott Heygate and three more KTM riders, Erik Merry, Kyle Eggar and Juan Niebuhr, and Miguel da Silva’s Husqvarna. A delighted Taki Bogiages took Kawasaki’s first Trademore SA Cross Country Motorcycle OR3 win from Matthew Wilson’s Brother Leader Tread KTM and John Botha’s Tork Craft CIT Kawasaki, making it three different winners in the last three races. Ryan Pelser’s KTM was fourth from Branden Swanepoel’s Sherco and Honda trio, Peter Karam, Haydn Cole and lady rider Leah Heygate.

Kenny Gilbert remains undefeated in national Seniors in 2022 aboard his Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki.

He beat Marco Cocci Yamaha, Jannie Potgieter on a KTM and Husqvarna duo Ockert Swart and Alain du Toit. Tork Craft CIT man Warrick van Schalkwyk made it Kawasaki madalas double with Masters victory over KTM riders Mielies Le Roux and Kobus Jonck KTM, and Husqvarna trio Wayne Farmer, Greg Nairn and Francois Swanepoel.

Kenny Gilbert.

In junior action, Cobus Bester made it a Husqvarna Highschool 125cc 1-2 over Wian Wentzel from KTM duo Ross Ramseyer and Nathan Westerdale. Bruno Niebuhr took the 85cc win from Murray Smith’s similar KTM, Husqvarna two Brandon Clarke and AJ Louw and Jaden Els’ Kawasaki. And Werner Kleinhans took 65cc IPC on a Husqvarna from Jake Pretorius Kawasaki, GJ Coetzee’s Husqvarna and Gas Gas kid Matthew Meyer.

The Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle championship now moves to Porterville in the Western Cape for round five of six on August 27.

Source: MotorsportMedia / Photos: Action in Motion

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