16 Apr RACE REPORT – BIKES 10 April 2021 Power Series #3
RAPSON SETTLES ACCOUNTS AT KILLARNEY SUPERBIKES
Malcolm Rapson, the Cape’s fastest accountant, returned from a long break enforced by surgery to settle accounts with pre-race favourite Jacques Ackermann in the South Motorcycles Superbike races at Round 2 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 at Killarney on Saturday 10 April with a surprise double victory.
Rapson threw down the gauntlet by putting his Racebase GSX-R1000 on pole, got the best of the first-corner traffic jam at the start of Race 1 and, in his own words, “concentrated on keeping it smooth”, while Ackerman got a very poor start (he was sixth at the end of lap one) and rode the wheels off the South Motorcycles/Barker Systems/Stepp Durbanville ZX-10R to move up to fourth on lap two and second on lap three.
He was unable to close the gap to Rapson, however, and came home a disappointing eight seconds in arrears, saving his tyres for Race 2.
Behind him an all-out war erupted between the three Super600 contenders – Brett Roberts’s Yamaha R6, Connor Hagan on the NPH Electrical GSX-R600 and Mike Hunter on the LLG Properties/HRT ZX-6R.
Roberts pulled a brilliant start to run second at the end of the opening lap, with Hunter and Hagan in hot pursuit. Hagan soon got into his stride however, relegating Hunter to fifth overall and third in class on lap two, and chased Roberts all the way to the line, finishing just 0.031sec adrift after the dice of the race, with Hunter 7.7sec further back.
Seven seconds later, Shaun Mackrill on the GFP Lighting ZX-10R got the best of the Clubmans A bunfight, slicing through the field from 11th on lap one to pass veteran Wayne Arendse on the JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R for the class lead two laps from the end. They were followed home by Dylan Croudace (Golden Circle 899 Panigale), Superbike competitor Gareth Gehlig on the GG Racing ZX-10R and Nasief Smart, all of whom finished within less than four seconds.
Ackermann pulled a perfect start in Race 2 and chased Rapson all the way to the line, showing him a wheel a number of times and braking “later than I ever braked before” into Turn 5 two laps from the flag, only to run wide on at the apex and slot in behind the Suzuki again, coming home just 0.162sec adrift after a cliff-hanger finish.
Roberts didn’t come to the line for the second outing, handing the Super600 honours to Hagan, who came home a superb third overall, 4.4 seconds ahead of Hunter, while Gehlig improved to fifth overall, 10 seconds clear of a fierce battle for Clubmans A honours that saw Arendse leading a four-bike train of himself, Deon Ebel (Ebel Bros/Maui Jim CBR1000RR), Croudace and Smart until the Kawasaki’s engine blew on lap six.
Mackrill, meanwhile, got another poor start but joined the fight for the class win on lap six, passing Smart on the final tour to finish second in class behind Croudace, ahead of Smart and Ebel, all four covered by less than two seconds.
With the Clubmans A riders guest-spotting in the premier league for the day, Clubmans B rider Hein Kroese (Honda CBR1000RR) found himself in the unusual position of starting from pole. He held the lead for the first few laps but was passed by Rob de Vos (Hillbilly Buell 1125R) on lap four, setting up a classic confrontation that lasted until the final lap, when Kroese retook the lead and pulled away to win by 6.653 seconds.
Ten seconds further back, Breakfast Runner Jamie Hall (Honda CBR600) got the best of an epic four-way dice for third with Donovan Stevens (Bennie Steenkamp GSX-R1000) Willem Louw (Kawasaki ZX-6R) and another Breakfast Runner, Mike Fast on an Aprilia Tuono, that saw all four cross the line in that order within 1.5 seconds.
Race 2 was red-flagged before it even began when Breakfast Runner Wesley Hendricks dropped the Maxicool ZX-10R in Quarry on the warm-up lap. When the race did underway, however, De Vos got the hole-shot, with Kroese all over him like a rash – until he crashed out in Kfm Corner at the start of lap two!
That handed the win to De Vos, who cruised home 7.686 seconds ahead of veteran Mitch Robinson (EBR 1190RX), who in turn was well clear of another huge dice for third that ended with Stevens, Louw, Hall and Fast finishing in that order, covered by little more than a second.
Trevor Westman on the Roxstar Ninja 650 set the early pace in the first Powersport race, with pole-position qualifier Slade ‘Wild Child’ van Niekerk (Project Sixty60 ER650), Franco Flach (Kawasaki ER6N) and Jason Linaker (RST Z650) in close pursuit, swopping positions on almost every lap as they jostled for advantage.
But it was Van Niekerk who grabbed the lead on the very last lap to lead Westman, Flach and Linaker across the line, all four covered by 0.680sec.
Kewyn Snyman was once again unstoppable on the Missile Motorcycles ZX400 in the Powersport 300 Class, finishing sixth overall and 21 seconds ahead of David Lindemann, ninth overall and second in class on the GM Contractors/Fueled Racing R3.
Van Niekerk, who has improved with every outing in this, his first full season on the 650, knocked half a second off his lap times in Race 2, romping home five seconds ahead of the dice of the day for second, a race-long cliffhanger that saw Flach, Westman and Linaker finish in that order within just 1.112sec.
Snyman came in sixth overall again, more than 26 seconds ahead of ninth-placed Lindemann.