Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THE 2016 Bogwheelers Club National Motocross Championship series gets underway tomorrow at Donnybrook Raceway in Harare where most of the country’s top junior and senior riders will be in action as the local motorcycling season gets into full swing. In fact, tomorrow’s event is the opening round of the six-round National Championship series and it comes exactly six weeks after the same riders competed in a Club Championship meet at the same venue on January 31, where 14-year-old Regan Wasmuth swept the board in the 125cc Class.
Wasmuth, who is now riding for one of South Africa’s top motocross clubs, Tintswalo, Out of Africa Yamaha Racing Club, is expected to be the star attraction in tomorrow’s meet at Donnybrook, where he should once again be fighting for the first step on the podium in the 125cc Class with former Zimbabwe champion rider Ashley Thixton and Josh Gobey.
The last time out at Donnybrook on January 31, Wasmuth won all his races in the 125cc Class, and the hype about him taking over as the country’s next champion rider began looking more and more palatable.
Tomorrow, Wasmuth and Thixton are also likely to face each other in the MX2 Class, which was won by the latter during the first Club Championship race meeting at Donnybrook on January 31.
Spills and thrills will also be the order of the day in the 65cc A Class where the emerging star Emmanuel Bako (9), who graduated to race in this class this year from the 50cc Class, will once again be tested by “seasoned campaigners” Daiyaan Manuel, Big “BJ” Chitima (Jnr) and Ryan Masimo.
In fact, Bako’s father and manager, Brighton, recently indicated that this year will be a “learning curve” for his son, who he wants to turn into a fully-fledged professional motocross rider.
“Emmanuel is only nine years old and he has just moved a class up from the 50cc to the 65cc Class, where he will be competing against the likes of Daiyaan Manuel and Big “BJ” Chitima (Jnr), who are three years older than him and have more experience.
“So, Emmanuel will use this year as a learning curve and then come out all his guns blazing in 2017, which I think will be his year in this class (65cc),” Brighton “Bucks” Bako said.
He added that he would like his son to go and train overseas, with Germany his preferred destination, during every school holidays this year in order for him to get some professional advise from that country’s top motocross trainers and to get the much-needed international exposure.
“Emmanuel is currently riding very fast on the track but he needs to get his technique right and that is why I’m looking at taking him to Germany this year for some extra training sessions during the school holidays.
“I think this will help him a lot when he returns to race back home in Zimbabwe and in South Africa next year,” Brighton Bako said.
As for tomorrow’s race meeting, Brighton Bako said his son was itching to get onto the track and take on Manuel, Chitima (Jnr) and Masimo.
“He is ready big time for this big fight (on Sunday) . . . He is in an attacking mood,” Brighton Bako said.
But at nine years old, it looks like Emmanuel Bako is just getting started and will soon be taking the mantle as “the guy to beat” for championships for years to come. There is also another star in the making in local motocross and he is none other than eight-year-old Jordan Dewdney, who is already making waves in the 50cc Class.
Dewdney is this year a Grade Four pupil at Lilfordia School and he has been just a joy to watch on the track at Donnybrook, where his biggest rival in the 50cc Class is fellow promising young rider Lee Chigumba and the two will once again come face-to-face in tomorrow’s National Championship meet at the same venue.
A “Battle Royale” is also expected in the 85cc Class, which will feature three of the country’s fast rising riders Kuda Mhene (Jnr), Davin Cocker and Tristan Grainger.
Mhene (Jnr) won the 65cc A title last year and has since moved to compete in the 85cc Class this year.
But the country’s top female rider Tanya Muzinda is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s race meeting as she is reported to be still hunting for a new bike after having “outgrown” her 65cc machine and is now an 85cc rider.
Racing tomorrow starts at 10am and entry fee has been pegged at $5 per person for adults while children under the age of 12 will get in for free.
There will be full bar and catering.
Donnybrook Raceway is adjacent to Harare’s high-density suburb of Mabvuku and is accessible through Arcturus Road (after Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and ZRP Support Unit Chikurubi Depot) or Mutare Road.