When the off-road motorcycle and quad fraternity leave for Dewetsdorp in the Free State for the next round of the National Off-road Championships for Motorcycles (6th round) and Quads (7th round) that takes place on 26 and 27 September, it will be Honda who is in a strong lead in the motorcycle championship while Yamaha is leading the quad championship. -

- With only three rounds of the motorcycle championship to go, Andrew Ogden (Miller Moore/Sandton Honda), the rider from Port Elizabeth who is also leading the 250cc Class, is leading his teammate, Geoffrey Wolhuter by 10 points with Jade Gutzeit (Tyrolit/Cheetah KTM) 16 points behind Ogden in the third place. Gutzeit, who has been racing overseas and has made his comeback to the SA off-road series this year, won the opening round of the season, the Petricon Swazi 400 as well as the Hluhluwe Queen Pineapple Off-road Spectacular and is also leading the Open Class while Ogden’s victory at the Mafikeng 500 and two second places (Kalahari 1000 and Tarka 400) earned him his leading position. -

- Six points behind Gutzeit is Clayton Enslin (Enzo Chiocchi Racing KTM) who experienced some bad luck this year. Although he finished 2nd in Mafikeng, he missed the podium twice and could not finish the gruelling Kalahari 1000. It was also not the best of seasons for the 2002 Off-road Motorcycle Champion, Gray Dick on his Nashua Mobile Racing/Shimwells Yamaha who is currently in the 5th position overall and 3rd in the Open Class. He could only manage to win in the Kalahari, a 1000km race he lead from start to finish, but engine problems kept him from finishing the recent Tarka 400 and 23 points separates him from the leading motorcycle rider. -

- There are three manufacturers in the top five in the motorcycle championship and, other than the previous years, more than one manufacturer made it into the top five in the quad championship. Bombardier used to rule the quad championship and although they are still in a commanding position this season, the Ekerold Yamaha Banshee rider, Dallie Terblanche from Pongola, is currently leading the overall championship. Although he could not manage to win a race this season, his consistency kept him at the top of the leaderboard. -

- Only six point behind Terblanche is the Cape Town rider, Shaun Gunther (Speed Quad Bombardier) who won the Mafikeng 500, but experienced some bad luck with flat tyres at the recent Tarka 400 and finished 8th. And, despite not finishing two races this season (the Kalahari 1000 and Mafikeng 500), Charles Jonker (Speed Bike Bombardier) is 11 points behind Gunther and 17 points behind Terblanche. Terblanche will have another Yamaha Banshee backing him up – Paul Chomse (Salley’s Yamaha), his “neighbour” in KwaZulu-Natal and winner of the Petricon Swazi 400. Chomse broke his collarbone earlier the season and could not participate in the Mafikeng 500, but two more podium positions secured him the 4th place in the Overall Quad Championship. -

- After each round of the quad championship, a different winner walked away with the laurels and in Hluhluwe it was the turn of Hendrik Potgieter (Speed Quad Bombardier) who finished 3rd in the 2002 championship. He could also not finish two races, but a 4th (Mini Roof of Africa) and 3rd (Tarka 400) place was enough to place him only three points behind the Yamaha rider, Chomse, and 29 points behind Terblanche leading the championship. -

- Two more manufacturers made it into the top ten – the Polaris Predator rider, Hennie Human is currently filling the 8th place, four points behind another Speed Quad Bombardier rider, Clayton du Plessis (7th), and five points behind the privateer rider, Hanru Fourie (6th) from Klerksdorp. Both Du Plessis and Fourie suffered from injuries sustained during races and could not manage to finish all the events. -

- Hot on the Predator’s heals, is Jacques Struwig (Southern Yamaha Raptor) who made it into the 9th place in the overall championship after only scoring points at three races of which he won the recent event in Tarkastad. Three points behind Struwig, the Ramco/Cell C Suzuki rider, Carl Wichmann, rounds off the top ten. Although this quad showed a lot of potential, teething problems were mostly the reason for Wichmann not finishing three races, but everytime this jovial KwaZulu-Natal rider finished, it was in the top ten. -

- In the Overall Motorcycle Championship, seven riders are filling the 6th to 10th positions – back on a KTM, Darryl Curtis (AGA/LG KTM) is currently only three points behind Dick with two riders on his heels, Riaan van Niekerk (Tyrolit/Cheetah KTM) and Wayne Farmer (Eclipse/Russell Campbell Kawasaki). Van Niekerk changed his 200cc KTM midway through the season for a 250cc and is still getting to grips with this new machine. He scored only twice this season, but after winning the Tarka 400, Barry Kriel (Tyrolit/Cheetah KTM) has enough points to place him in 8th place overall – only one point ahead of brother Spencer and Carel le Roux (Miller Moore/Sandton Honda) who is again only a single point ahead of Bernard Johnstone (Shimwells Yamaha) in the 10th place. -

- The Caledon 400 gets underway with a timetrial of 50km on Friday, 26 September, at 10h00 at the Dewetsdorp Showgrounds that will determine the starting grid for the main race on Saturday, 27 September. The main race will consist of two loops of 185km on both sides of the R702 between Dewetsdorp and Wepener, as always in the past, spectating will be quite easy and safe.

Original article from Car