More entries and new bike and rider combinations are bound to make the 2003 South African Superbike Championship an intense battle.

More entries and new bike and rider combinations are bound to make the 2003 South African Superbike Championship an intense battle.

Russell Wood tops the season’s entry list as reigning South African champion. He is the Yamaha works team’s top rider and will carry the number one plate on a new R6. 2001 South African champion Greg Dreyer will be on an identical Yamaha.

Wood’s toughest title challenge should come from the Suzuki camp, which will field a five-bike team this season. Leading the onslaught will be 2000 South African champion Stewart MacLeod, alongside former Ducati team leader Trevor Crookes. Having finished respectively second and third in last year’s title chase, the two riders will want to improve this time around.

Last year’s South African Superbike Privateer champion, Noel Haarhoff, will join the Suzuki factory effort this season, with 2002 team racer Hudson Kennaugh and Development rider John Oliver. Suzuki won last year’s South African Superbike manufacturers’ title and could repeat this feat, given their team’s depth of talent and experience. -

The three-man First Technology team will also be very competitive this year. Having swapped their Hondas of last year for new Yamaha R6 models, Shaun Whyte, Arushen Moodley and Alex Lenearts will be hunting victories and podium placings this season.

The Kawasaki team returns to the championship. Riding the importers’ all-new race-homologated ZX-6RR machines will be last year’s Sasol Top Gun award winner Greame van Breda and Garth Norris. Also on factory-assisted Mean Green Machines will be Sheridan Morias and Michael Dickenson, running their Kawasakis under the Comaro Power Sport banner.

Following the withdrawal of its works team, Ducati will be represented by privateers Clynton Pienaar and Robert Portman, who could certainly surprise some of the more fancied teams in the colours of Edenvale Ducati.

The 2003 South African Superbike Championship will start at AA Kyalami on February 22.

Original article from Car