Collin Matiza Sports Editor
ONE of Zimbabwe’s most promising motocross riders Daiyaan Manuel will miss this coming weekend’s first leg of the Monster Energy South African National Championships at Harrismith in Free State due to a leg injury he sustained in Lusaka, Zambia, last weekend.
According to Manuel’s father, Junior, the nine-year-old talented motorcycling rider had a crash and broke his left leg while representing Zimbabwe in the 65cc A Class at the Southern African Challenge in Lusaka and will be out of action for about four weeks.
“Unfortunately Daiyaan will not be going to South Africa this weekend to race in the opening round of the South African National Championships as he’s got a leg fracture which he sustained in Zambia at the weekend while representing Zimbabwe at the Southern African Challenge with Davin Cocker, who raced in the 85cc Class.
“I think Daiyaan will be out of action for four months and it’s a minor set-back for him as he was also looking forward to race in South Africa this coming weekend,” Junior Manuel said yesterday.
Daiyaan, who wrote his own piece of history last year when he became the first Zimbabwean motocross rider to win a national championship title in South Africa when he clinched the pro 50cc Class crown, was expected to join a number of fellow local riders who have entered this coming weekend’s opening round of the 2015 Monster Energy South African National Championships.
The absence of Daiyaan in Free State this weekend will give other talented young Zimbabwean riders such as Regan Wasmuth, Tristain Grainger, Kuda Mhene (Jnr) and Emmanuel Bako the opportunity of raising the country’s flag high at this event which attracts all the top bikers from South Africa.
One of these riders Wasmuth raced last Sunday in a KZN regional race to prepare for the first leg of the South African National Championships to be held at the same track this Saturday.
Wasmuth, who turns 14 next month, had a great ride at this regional race in Harrismith where he came sixth overall. As the youngest in the field and having moved onto the 125cc two years earlier, he showed good pace and mixed it up with the top boys.
The young Zimbabwean rider has moved up to the 125cc class two years earlier as he has outgrown the 85cc bike and having previously won the South African and All-Africa Championships, he decided it would be more beneficial for his future in the sport to move up into the highly competitive 125cc class and continue to improve his pace amongst older and faster riders.
Running his current pace and having four years left in the class he will definitely be a favourite to win the class before he has to move up again.
Another top Zimbabwean rider Wade Ashwell took part in the same event in Harrismith where he came 12th in the 125cc Class and he is also expected to return there this Saturday to race in round one of the Monster Energy South African National Championships with Wasmuth.
Both Wasmuth and Ashwell will compete in the 125cc Class while Mhene (Jnr) will race in the 65cc Class.
Zimbabwe’s champion rider Jayden Ashwell will also be back in action on Saturday at Harrismith where he will be representing the country in the main MX1 Class.
However, another talented Zimbabwean rider Ryan Masimo, like Manuel, will not be travelling to South Africa for this weekend’s event as he has just graduated to race in the 65B Class from the 50cc Class.