Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THIS Saturday will see the staging of the final round of the 2018 South African National Motocross Championship series at Dirt Bronco in Krugersdorp where two of Zimbabwe’s top riders Emmanuel Bako and Regan Wasmuth will be hoping and praying for a miracle to happen as they fight to be crowned champions of the 65cc and 125cc High School classes respectively.
Bako (13) and Wasmuth (17) will take to the track at Dirt Bronco on Saturday hoping that the points leaders in their respective classes Lucca Mynhardt and Justin Sangster will have a DNF in order for them to sneak in through the back door and be crowned this year’s champions in the 65cc and 125cc High School sections in South Africa.
Anything outside a DNF for their rivals will see the two talented young Zimbabwean riders leaving the scene on Saturday empty-handed as they both have a huge deficit to cover in their classes.
Bako is currently lying in third place in the 65cc Class Standings with 233 points, 45 behind the leader Mynhardt of South Africa and the latter just needs a top three finish on Saturday to be crowned this year’s champion.
And Bako’s father and manager, Brighton, said yesterday that they were keeping their fingers crossed as they prepare for Saturday’s battle in the final round of the 2018 South African National Championship series at Dirt Bronco.
“We are not going there with a defeatist attitude . . . We haven’t thrown in the towel as yet. This is motocross and anything can happen on Saturday. Emmanuel still has an outside chance of being crowned the champion in the 65cc Class although it’s a slim one,” Brighton Bako said.
In the 125cc High School Class, Wasmuth, placed second with 229 points, is 37 points behind the leading contender Sangster and just like Bako, he will be praying for the South African to have a DNF while he wins the two heats in order for him to emerge victorious at the end of business on Saturday.
Apart from Emmanuel Bako and Wasmuth, four other top junior and senior Zimbabwean riders — Daiyaan Manuel, Tristan Grainger, Ashley Thixton and Jayden Ashwell — will also be in action in the final round of the South African Nationals at Dirt Bronco on Saturday although they are all out of the running for the titles of the different classes that they will be competing in.
Manuel missed a large chunk of this year’s South African National events, but he has entered to race in the 85cc Pro Mini Class on Saturday and will be joined on the track by Grainger who will also be back racing in the 125cc High School Class.
The country’s former champion rider Thixton has entered to race in two classes at Dirt Bronco on Saturday. He will first do battle in the MX2 Class before he joins fellow Zimbabwean Ashwell in the main MX1 Class.
Unlike Manuel, Grainger and Thixton, South Africa-based Ashwell has competed in the first six rounds of this year’s South African Nationals and he takes to the track at Dirt Bronco on Saturday lying in fourth place in the MX1 Class in which he has amassed 217 points, but he is well off the points leader Caleb Tennant of South Africa who is sitting pretty at the top of the standings with 267 points, 16 ahead of second-placed fellow South African David Goosen.
Another top senior South African rider is Tristan Purdon is lying in third place in the MX1 Class with 243 points.
This means unlike Ashwell, Goosen and Purdon still have something to fight for on Saturday as they will be out to snatch the MX1 Class title from under Tennant’s nose.