Even a fuel-pump failure couldn’t stop Missile Motorcycles’ Kewyn Snyman from taking the overall honours for the day in the Triumph Superbikes category at the first round of the 2023 Power Series at Killarney on Saturday 4 February on his new old bike.

To clarify: although it was the first time this machine had been ridden in anger, it’s actually a ninth-generation Honda CBR1000RR dating from 2008. Snyman explained: “I’ve always liked the ’08 Fireblade for its smooth power delivery and handling, and I wanted to prepare one for regional Superbike racing – so here it is!”

And it worked; Snyman qualified on pole and led every lap of Race 1, chased all the way by defending champion Malcom Rapson on the Racebase GSX-R1000, while Hilton ‘Wild Man’ Redelinghuys (888 Motorcycles ZX-10R) and David Enticott (Motorwise/Sarum Engineering/Iron Horse Racing ZX-10R) debated third and fourth.

But the highlight of the race was the battle for sixth overall between the three ‘young guns’ of the Bridgestone STC 650 series – each in his Superbike racing debut – as Slade van Niekerk (Project Sixty SA ZX-6R) blitzed Tristin Pienaar’s RS Trailers R6 on the last lap to take 600 Class honours by a scant 0.042sec, with Jason Linaker in hot pursuit on the RST CBR600.

Challenge Series ambassador Brad Bodsworth aced his category on the Black Sheep Racing Ducati 1098, 10 seconds clear of veteran Wayne Arendse’s JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R.

A couple of laps into the second outing, however, Snyman’s Honda began to lose power at full throttle and by lap seven it would no longer rev over 9000rpm. A lap later Rapson came past to take the race win, while Snyman “cruised round” (his words!) to finish second, 1.095 seconds adrift. Redelinghuys caught Enticott two laps from the end and passed him to take third by the narrowest margin of the day – just 0.020sec!

Eleven seconds later Van Niekerk, Pienaar and Linaker finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively, covered by 0.182sec at the line after banging elbows in almost every corner, while Bodsworth and Arendse led home the Challengers in ninth and tenth respectively.

The first Clubmans, Classics and Breakfast Run race delivered an exciting, race-long battle for the lead as rookies Daniel Frost (CHW Design CBR 1000) and Rey Fiveash (Cape Office Furniture/Motorwise GSX-R750) fought it out all the way to the line – but it was Frost who was in front by about a bike length (0.318sec, to be precise) when it counted. Early leader Willem Louw (Kawasaki ZX-6R) dropped back as the pace picked up and fell victim to a late charge by Wesley Hendricks (Maxicool/Motorwise ZX-10R) to finish fourth, less than half a second behind Hendricks.

Dyllan Anderson (Yamaha R6) was the first Breakfast Runner home in fifth overall, while Wayne Gresse led the Classic charge on his first-generation Tony’s Motor Spares Yamaha R1.

Race 2 was even closer, as Frost and Fiveash swopped places several times before Frost held the scantest of leads to come home 0.166 ahead. There was another closely-matched battle for the final podium spot between Louw and rookie Keana Strode – also on a ZX-6R – which saw Louw outgun his teenage challenger to take third by less than a second. Andre Symes (Genasys Tech R1) and JP Schermers (Bulldog Racing CBR1000) – who crashed out of Race 1 in Turn 5 on lap seven while running seventh – were the top Breakfast Runners in sixth and seventh respectively. Gresse, however, didn’t have it all his own way in the Classic category, but managed to hold off a determined challenge from Drag Racing star Sharief Reynolds (Ducati 996) as they came home 0.297sec apart in 10th and 11th respectively overall.