Shaun Whyte and Arushen Moodley will be out to stop points-leader Russell Wood from adding to his tally in the SA Superbike Championship at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday.

First Technology Yamaha team-mates Shaun Whyte and Arushen Moodley will be out to stop points leader Russell Wood from adding to his tally in rounds 11 and 12 of the SA Superbike Championship at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday.

The 2003 title chase is at the halfway point and the country’s top two-wheeler circuit racers cannot afford any mistakes at the tight and tricky 2,3 km Zwartkops track, which traditionally produces very competitive racing.

Wood, who has five victories from 10 starts this year, leads the championship on 165 points, while his closest rival Whyte is on 123 points. The Autopage Cellular Yamaha rider faces tough competition. Both the Yamaha and Suzuki camps were testing at Zwartkops last week and both equipes reported breaking the venue’s current overall two-wheeler lap record.

“At any round of the Vodacom Power Tour, the winner of both Superbike races scores a total of 40 points - which means that my 42-point lead over Whyte could be wiped out this Saturday, should I fail to score points and he wins,” Wood.

Apart from Wood and Whyte, at least nine riders could win the day’s two races, with another three close enough to benefit from any mistakes by the front-runners.

Topping the challenge will be Cell C Suzuki’s Hudson Kennaugh and First Technology Yamaha’s Arushen Moodley, respectively third and fourth in the Championship on 118 and 109 points.

Other podium challengers will be Greg Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Yamaha), Cell C Suzuki racers Stewart MacLeod, Trevor Crookes and Noel Haarhoff, plus Zwartkops specialist Alex Lenearts on his First Technology Yamaha.

On Saturday, riders will tackle the morning’s official qualifying session, the opening 10-lap race and the final 15-lap race on the same set of tyres. “We will be well prepared - we will be the only team using Metzeller rubber, which I believe to be the best suited for the tyre torture required at Zwartkops,” said Wood.

“The circuit is so tight and twisty that tyres never get the chance to cool and they tend to wear rather thin late in the second race. At that point, having some usable grip left is worth gold and I think that we could have that advantage. “If so, I can predict victories, but we can not afford the luxury of making mistakes - scoring points on both occasions will be our first priority,” Wood said.

Original article from Car