It is only natural that motorcycle racers love competing there. Saturday’s two-wheel events, rounds 11 and 12 of the South African motorcycle championships and part of the Super Series,will be no different.
Going to the Free State reigning Supersport champion Clinton Seller (Czank Kawasaki) leads the year’s Superbike championship by a narrow margin from Chris Leeson (Motorrad BMW) and Nicolas Grobler (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki). Any of the three riders could spray the champagne on Saturday afternoon.
Not far behind should be Ryan Ottens (Motorrad BMW), Dylan White (Brother Yamaha), Ryan van Aswegen (Gem Auto Kawasaki), Trevor Westman (Adrenalin Powersport BMW), Clinton Pienaar (Superbike Magazine BMW), Stephen Steenkamp (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki) and Etienne Nelson (Adrenaline Powersport Yamaha).
Returning to the fray after an amazing escape from a 250 km/h shunt at the East London Grand Prix circuit last month will be Heinrich Rheeder on a new BMW.
Cam Petersen (Liqui Moly MV Agusta) should be the man to beat in the 600 Supersport category, but he will face incredibly tight competition. Last month at East London both 600cc races saw four riders fighting for the lead – and in the final heat all four were covered by half a second.
Petersen’s three top rivals will be veteran Lance Isaacs (Pta North Toyota Kawasaki), Brent Harran (Liqui Moly MV Agusta) and Dean Vos on the Brother Yamaha.
Others who could join the front bunch include Nicholas Kershaw (Race Bike Rental Kawasaki), Nicole van Aswegen (Gem Auto Triumph), Brandon Goode (Race Bike Rental Kawasaki) and Gareth Davidson (TK Imports Kawasaki).
Both categories will race on Pirelli tyres, with each rider allowed two sets of rubberware for the weekend. The Superbike riders are allowed to change tyres at will on Saturday, but the 600 Supersport competitors have to complete the morning’s official qualifying and both of the day’s races on the same two tyres.
“With its combination of fast sweeps, medium pace corners and hairpins designed to test real riding skill, Phakisa is a fantastic circuit,” said Pirelli’s Wayne Doran, who is a former top rider.
“The circuit does not cause excessive tyre wear and riders who plan things right should enjoy full tyre performance in both races.”
“We could have one problem if there is a cold snap. Low circuit temperatures could cause tyre fragmentation but it will be the same for everybody and it will come down to riding skill.”