Zimbabwe: Motocross Season Revs Off

BATTLE lines are drawn across all classes as the 2022 Bogwheelers’ Club National Motocross Championship series field converges on the home of motorsport in this country — Donnybrook Park Raceway in Harare — on Sunday for the season-opener.

Local riders will be returning to the track after an almost two-month hiatus as they last raced during the 2021 Zimbabwe Summer Series which was held at the same venue during the second week of December last year.

In fact, several riders have changed classes, while others will ride new machinery as the new motocross season gets underway with the opening round of the six-round 2022 National Championship series at Donnybrook on Sunday morning.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Jamie Kerwin, the secretary of the Bogwheelers’ Club who run motocross in this country on behalf of Zimbabwe Motorsport, said “the usual riders” are expected to make their way to Donnybrook for this season-opener and “sparks” are expected to fly in each class.

“It’s the first one of the year so (it’s) hard to tell who will come but we are expecting an exciting day as most riders are itching to get back on the track after having last raced competitively during last December’s Zimbabwe Summer Series,” Kerwin said.

The main MX1 Class for the senior riders is bound to be explosive as it is likely to feature “the usual suspects” Cameron Thixton, Joshua Goby and Duncan Kerwin who will be jostling for the first step on the podium while Daiyaan “D” Manuel is the hot favourite to win the MX2 Class although he could face some stiff competition from veteran rider Ashley Thixton (that is if he pitches up for Sunday’s race meeting) and Dylan Zanin.

In the MX3 Class, there should be a straight fight for the first step on the podium between Adriaan Olivier and Mark Ziemann while the ageless Shame Thomas and Lofty Versfeld are expected to return to fight for the top honours in the Masters Class.

It could not be established yesterday whether Manuel will still be racing in the 125cc Class where he usually rides against old foes Ricky Whyte and Daniel Collett.

Another top rider, Emmanuel Bako will be in contention for the top step on the podium in the 125cc and 250cc classes.

Bako’s father and manager, Brighton, confirmed yesterday that his son, who will soon leave the country to race in the European circuit, will be in action on Sunday at Donnybrook.

“We are still waiting for a clearance letter from France which will enable Emmanuel to fly to Europe but in the meantime he will be back racing at Donnybrook on Sunday where he will be competing in the 125cc and the 250cc classes,” Brighton Bako said.

Emmanuel Bako is still basking in glory after he was crowned the overall 2021 85cc Pro Mini National Champion in South Africa.

In perhaps the Cannabis Energy TRP South African Motocross title fight of the year, Emmanuel Bako completed a remarkable come back from behind to win the championship with double 85cc Pro Mini victories over Neil van der Vyver and Ryan Adler in a Husqvarna 1-2-3.

In the juniors’ section, promising young rider Victor Nyamupfukudza will be back riding in the 50cc Class on Sunday where he will be facing Kudzwai Chitsurura, Junior Bako and Jayden Kerwin.

Nyamupfukudza’s father and trainer, Simbarashe, yesterday said his seven-year-old son has, since the beginning of the year, been practising hard for the forthcoming season and was itching to get back on the track on Sunday.

“As you know Victor upped his game after he got his first major sponsorship from Mashwede Holdings, through its owner Alex “Dr Mash” Mashamhanda, during last December’s Zimbabwe Summer Series and he has been training hard almost on a daily basis in preparation for the new season.