Collin Matiza Sports Editor
ONE of Zimbabwe’s top junior motocross riders Emmanuel Bako warmed up for this coming weekend’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships by sweeping to victory in the 85cc Class in two regional Supercross and motocross race meetings in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday and Saturday.
Bako (12), who is now a household name in the South African motocross circuit, first claimed the top step on the podium during round three of the Supercross Night Racing Series at the famous Smoking Pistons Dirt Track in Johannesburg on Friday night.
This was his second straight victory in the 85cc Class in the night racing series in South Africa.
And after popping up the champagne bottle on Friday night, Bako headed to Erora Motocross Track at Kempton Park in Johannesburg where he competed in round seven of the 2019 Inland Championship the next day where he was also unstoppable in the same class, grabbing the first place ahead of two South African riders Nate McLellan and Deegan Bloomfield to cap a memorable weekend for himself.
Bako had two hole shots in Heat One and Two and walked way with R500 for it.
Speaking to The Herald from Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, Bako, a Grade Seven pupil at Heritage School in Harare, said he was satisfied with his overall performances in both the Supercross and motocross events at Smoking Pistons and Erora.
“As you know, we rarely have Supercross race meetings in Zimbabwe and to pull off another victory here in South Africa is just awesome for me and I would like to thank my coaches Stanley Mugiyo and Tyron Bruce Juul for their professional guidance.
“I would also like to thank God the Almighty for his protection and guidance, and not forgetting my sponsors Fuchs Silkolene Zimbabwe, Chicken Hut and Prolific Boreholes for their continued support,” Bako said. The talented young Zimbabwean rider said his latest victories in South Africa were a huge morale booster for him ahead of this coming weekend’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships at Donnybrook Park in Harare where he will be part of a strong 59-member Team Zimbabwe that will be competing for the top honours against six other African countries — Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco and Zambia.
This year’s African Championships have attracted more than 200 junior and senior male and female riders from these seven African countries and will be the biggest in the event’s 20-year history.
Uganda have already indicated that they will be sending a strong team of 37 riders for this weekend’s African Championships and they will be led by Maxime van Pee.
The East African country will be looking for glory in all the nine classes.
Their neighbours Kenya are also sending a strong team of more than 20 junior and senior male and female riders who were seen off by their country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi at the weekend.
Speaking at the weekend’s farewell function for Team Kenya for the African Championships, President Kenyatta said that his government will support all sports disciplines in order to grow the diverse talents of the Kenyan youth.
He said no sport will be left out of his government’s sponsorship programme for national teams representing his country in international competitions.
“Every single sports association in Kenya will be supported by the government. If we have talent outside there, it is our responsibility to nurture and grow it,” President Kenyatta said at State House in Nairobi when he flagged off the Kenya National Motocross Team that will participate in this year’s African Championships in Harare this coming weekend.
The visiting countries will start arriving in Harare on Thursday ahead of the two-day FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships which will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Donnybrook Park.