THE 2019 Zimbabwe motocross season got off to a roaring start at the Donnybrook Park track in Harare on Sunday.
Three of the country’s top riders Ashley Thixton, Tristan Grainger and Daiyaan Manuel ruled the roost in the MX1, MX2 and 85cc classes.
A good turnout of over 50 junior and senior male riders descended on the iconic local motorsport venue, despite severe weather warnings, to claim the first points in their chase for this year’s National Championships.
The race day produced some exciting bumper-to-bumper duels in the cold, wet and windy conditions, as the opening round of the 2019 National Championship series came up with some of the best racing ever seen at Donnybrook in recent years.
All eyes were on 13-year-old Manuel, on a Husqvarna bike, who was involved in another battle royale with his arch-rival Emmanuel Bako (12) in the 85cc Class.
The thick morning mud of Donnybrook did little to deter Manuel as he shot into the lead in Heat One, crossed the finish line first in Heat Two and Three to claim the first step on the podium with a perfect 60 points.
Bako (51 points) was forced to settle for second place.
Bako’s chances of beating Manuel in the 85cc Class were hindered by a mechanical fault on his bike during Heat Two which forced him to miss Heat Three.
“I had a good start and was breathing hard behind Manuel’s neck in Heat Two before my bike knocked, the pipe blew up and one of the bolts came out so it wasn’t pulling,” said Bako.
“It wasn’t going fast and I just had to settle for second place.”
Former Zimbabwe champion rider Ashley Thixton held off the challenge of his younger brother Cameron to claim the top step on the podium.
Third place went Doug Mellor.
Ashley Thixton’s teammate at Grainger Racing Team KTM, Tristan Grainger, recovered from a bad start in Heat One to beat Josh Goby into second place in the MX2 Class in which Bradley Perry settled for third place.
Source : The Herald