In the process, the fight for this year’s most prestigious local two-wheeler racing title was left wide open.

Saturday morning’s Official Qualifying session indicated a formbook change when pre-event favourite Russell Wood (Autopage Cellular Yamaha) crashed after just six laps.

The defending Champion had to be content with seventh place on the starting grid, with his closest title challengers Shaun Whyte (First Technology Yamaha) and Hudson Kennaugh (Cell C Suzuki) filling the front row.

Drama struck seconds after the start of the opening race, when Sheridan Morias (Teazers Kawasaki), Robert Cragg (Suzuki) plus Cell C Suzuki riders Noel Haarhoff and Trevor Crookes tangled and crashed in the first corner.

The race was stopped, with Morias and Cragg unable to make the restart.

When hostilities resumed, Whyte and Kennaugh embarked on a battle for the lead, chased by First Technology Yamaha’s Alex Lenearts and Arushen Moodley, Russell Wood on his Yamaha and Trevor Crookes (Cell C Suzuki).

Whyte and Kennaugh gradually pulled away from the rest, while the Autopage Cellular Yamaha team’s woes continued when Greg Dreyer crashed in the Zwartkops hairpin.

Whyte eventually won from Kennaugh by three-tenths of a second, with Arushen Moodley third, another second adrift.

Alex Lenearts took fourth place, narrowly ahead of Russell Wood, with Trevor Crookes, Garth Norris (Inala Kawasaki) and Stewart MacLeod (Cell C Suzuki) taking the respective sixth, seventh and eighth places.

In the next race, a determined Hudson Kennaugh beat Shaun Whyte to the finish line by six-tenths of a second, with Arushen Moodley taking another third place.

This time, a struggling Russell Wood edged past Alex Lenearts on the final lap for a fourth place.

Lenearts hung on to the fifth spot, again followed by Crookes, Norris and MacLeod.

The next two rounds of the 2003 South African Superbike Championshi will be held at the AA Kyalami circuit on Saturday, August 30.

Original article from Car