Collin Matiza Sports Editor
ZIMBABWE’S junior motocross champion rider Emmanuel Bako will return to action next weekend when he leads a group of local bikers during the second round of the 2017 South African National Championship series at Zone 7 in Cape Town.
Bako, a talented Grade Five pupil at Mai Grace Mugabe Primary School in Mazowe, missed the opening round of the South African nationals at Rover in Port Elizabeth on February 18 due to school commitments, but he will be back on his KTM bike on April 8 at the tough Zone 7 track in Cape Town, competing in round two of the seven-round series.
His father, Brighton, confirmed yesterday that his 10-year-old son will be heading to the Mother City next week to team up with fellow top Zimbabwean riders Kuda Mhene (Jnr), Daiyaan “D” Manuel, Davin Cocker, Tristan Grainger, Josh Gobey, Regan Wasmuth and Jayden Ashwell.
“Emmanuel is this year riding in the 65cc Class as well as in the 85cc Class (small wheel) and he will be competing in both classes in Cape Town on April 8 where he will be hoping to get a podium finish and pick up some points after missing the opening round of the South African nationals in Port Elizabeth last month.
“He (Emmanuel) is now a household name in the South African motocross circles as he has raced there for a number of years now and has gained some invaluable experience along the way and I’m quite convinced that he will once again make his presence felt during next weekend’s event in Cape Town,” Brighton “Bucks” Bako said.
Emmanuel will battle with top South African junior motocross riders Tyler Tarantino, Luke Grundy and Troy Muraour who took the first three places in this class at Rover in Port Elizabeth on February 18.
Tarantino, Grundy and Muraour are the early pacesetters in the 65cc Class Standings of the 2017 South African National Championship series with 47,40 and 39 points.
Sponsored by Harare’s Prolific Boreholes company, Emmanuel will be joined in the battle for the first step on the podium in the 65cc Class in Cape Town next weekend by Manuel who found the going tough at Rover in Port Elizabeth last month where he finished 11th overall, picking up 25 points.
Former Zimbabwean motocross champion rider Ashley Thixton also competed in round one of the South African nationals at Rover and came 14th overall in the MX2 Class with 18 points, but it could not be established by late yesterday whether he will be travelling back Down South to compete in next weekend’s competition in Cape Town.
But the other top Zimbabwean riders Ashwell (MX1 Class), Wasmuth (125cc High School Class), Cocker (Pro Mini), Grainger (Pro Mini) and Mhene (Jnr) (Pro Mini) are all expected to join Emmanuel Bako and Manuel in Cape Town.
At Rover, Zimbabwe’s champion rider Ashwell, who is back racing after missing most of last season due to injury, struggled with his game as he finished 10th overall (out of 16 riders) in the MX1 Class with 23 points while Wasmuth settled for 14th place in the 125cc High School with 18 points.
There were 20 riders in the 125cc High School Class.