This year’s South African Superbike Championship ended in spectacular fashion at AA Kyalami on Saturday, (November 22), with ultra-close racing and the emergence of a young new hero highlights of the occasion. -

- Ultimately, already-crowned 2003 Champion Russell Wood won overall on his Autopage Cellular Yamaha, but only after his toughest race of the season. -

- It was generally a tough day for the two-wheeler warriors, with their first two efforts to race both doomed to failure. -

- On the first occasion, the riders reported two oil-soaked corners after their exploration lap, and the race was postponed. -

- An hour later, they tried again – only for a typical Highveld thunderstorm to soak Kyalami as they lined up on the grid. -

- With all of the motorcycles on dry-weather tyres, the organizers had no choice but to cancel the day’s opening race. -

- Finally, at dusk, the second race commenced on a still damp circuit – and it was certainly worth waiting for. -

- First Technology Yamaha riders Shaun Whyte and Arushen Moodley blasted into the lead at the start, closely followed by Trevor Crookes (Cell C Suzuki), youngster Sheridan Morias (Teazers Kawasaki), Gavin Ramsay (Kreepy Krauly Yamaha) and Russell Wood on his Autopage Cellular Yamaha. -

- After testing the slippery surface, Wood’s cautious approach evaporated on the second lap, and he scythed through the field to grab the lead on the fourth tour. -

- A lap later, the race was red-flagged after Inala team rider Garth Norris cartwheeled his Kawasaki into the tyre wall just after the Esses. -

- With Norris found to be in reasonable health, hostilities resumed, and the formbook was turned inside out. -

- An inspired Sheridan Morias snatched the lead on his Kawasaki, with the Yamahas of Wood and Moodley on his heels. Not unexpectedly, Wood passed Morias two laps later. -

- Very unexpectedly, Morias repassed the Champion almost immediately. -

- The final four laps of the race provided some of this year’s best spectacle, to be long remembered. -

- On three separate occasions, Wood outbraked Morias into corners – and on all three occasions the 16-year old Kawasaki racer immediately returned the compliment. -

- Finally, Wood conceded – "My tyres were losing grip, and I had no intention of crashing in the very last race of the year." -

- "The kid was obviously more than willing to take huge risks and I let him go – today, he deserved to beat me over the line," the Champion said. -

- An ecstatic Morias did finish first, but Wood officially won on the aggregate times of the red-flagged opening stint and the second outing. -

- That left Morias in second place, followed by Arushen Moodley and Shaun Whyte, whose fourth place made him this year’s Championship runner-up. -

- Meanwhile, Morias’ performance bagged him both the season’s Superbike Privateers’ title, and the accolade as Sasol’s Top Gun of the day. -

- Greg Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Yamaha), Gavin Ramsay (Kreepy Krauly Yamaha) and Trevor Crookes (Cell C Suzuki) filled the day’s respective fifth-, sixth- and seventh places. -

- Saturday’s race was the final South African title race for 600cc machines – next season’s regulations will cater for near standard Superbikes of unlimited capacity.

Original article from Car