The Autopage Cellular Yamaha team’s victory march in this year’s South African Superbike Championship was rudely interrupted at the Eastern Cape Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday, April 12. Following Rounds 5 and 6 of the Championship, team leader Russell Wood no longer leads this year’s most prestigious South African motorcycle title chase - but the fight is far from over. -

- The Autopage Cellular equipe’s troubles started during Friday ‘s unofficial practice sessions, when the Yamaha R6 entries of Wood, Greg Dreyer and Charles Grassie all exhibited handling problems on the tight, tricky Scribante circuit. -

- Following Saturday morning’s Official Qualifying session, Russell Wood was placed fourth on the starting grid, behind the Cell C Suzukis of Trevor Crookes and Hudson Kennaugh, plus the First Technology Yamaha of Shaun Whyte. The Autopage Cellular Yamahas of the still-injured Greg Dreyer and team youngster Charles Grassie were respectively placed ninth and 20th on the grid. -

- Shortly after the start of the opening race Wood, chasing for the lead, was struck from behind by the Cell C Suzuki of Noel Haarhoff, with both riders crashing out of the race. That left a conservatively-riding Greg Dreyer to finish sixth, with Grassie in 15th place. -

- In Race 2 Wood, starting from 21st place on the grid, scythed through the field with his Autopage Cellular Yamaha to finally finish fourth. Dreyer was placed sixth again, while Grassie took his Autopage Cellular Yamaha to the 12th place. Meanwhile Shaun Whyte, who scored two second places on the day with his First Technology Yamaha, took the lead in the 2003 South African Superbike Championship. -

- “It is not the end of the world, or the end of the fight. We might have lost a battle, but we are still going to win the war,”vowed Wood at the end of the day. -

- “We knew that the Suzukis would become super-competitive somewhere along the line, and that has now happened.” -

- “From now on, every mistake will cost dearly - but that applies to them as well as us - we fully intend to be back on form - and winning - next time out,”Wood added. -

- “What I do have a real problem with is the kind of stock car mentality that saw Noel Haarhoff crash into me from the back - it is not in the spirit of clean competition, and needlessly adds to the hazards of what is already an extremely dangerous occupation,”Wood concluded. -

- On the other hand, the team’s Greg Dreyer was up-beat after his two sixth places. -

- “I was suffering a lot of pain from my injured feet, and we decided that I should just get some title points on the board this weekend.” -

- “That is what I did, and it felt really good to finally get on the points list. Next time out I shall be more competitive, while supporting Russell in his title quest,” Dreyer said. -


Original article from Car