Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THE prestigious annual Zimbabwe Motorsports Federation National Championship dinner and awards ceremony was held at Zimbali in Harare on Saturday, where two of the country’s top junior motorcycle riders Emmanuel Bako and Tristan Grainger were the biggest winners of the night.
Saturday night saw the winners of different motorsport disciplines being officially honoured for their title-winning achievements in 2018 and standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the stage with individuals and organisations that protect and promote the sport in this country were Bako (12) and Grainger (15) who won a number of trophies.
Bako, who monopolised the 65cc Class during the 2018 motocross season, was crowned the Champion of Champions in this section and came second in the 85cc Class behind Daiyaan Manuel.
Another young rider Jordan Dewdney was placed second in the 65cc Class, with Hunter Moore coming third.
All in all, Bako, a Grade Seven pupil at Heritage School in Harare, won three trophies and his elated father and manager Brighton “Bucks” Bako promised “more fireworks” from his son this season after seeing him scooping the three awards on Saturday night where his name was also engraved on the 65cc Championship Aitken Trophy.
“We are so proud of Emmanuel for his achievements during the 2018 season and I’m quite convinced that this will spur him on this year, where he has already started well in the South African motocross circuit.
“He is really looking forward to this year in which he aims to win more titles both here in Zimbabwe and in South Africa,” Brighton Bako said.
Emmanuel Bako could also not hide his excitement and dedicated the three trophies that he won on Saturday night to his grandfather, who is recovering from an operation at a private hospital in Johannesburg.
“I dedicate all these three trophies to my grandfather who is currently under the weather in South Africa. He has been my inspiration since I took up the sport of motocross when I was four years old and I hope my winning of these trophies tonight will make him proud and feel better,” Emmanuel Bako said.
He was emulated by another young rider Grainger, who first won Yamaha Trophy for being the Champion of Champions in the motorcycles section before he collected the TT Motorcycles Trophy after he was crowned the champion in the 250cc road race championship.
Grainger also scooped Bogwheelers Trophy after coming out tops in motocross 125cc Class. Daiyaan Manuel and David Evans were placed second and third respectively.
This year Grainger is being sponsored by Toyota Zimbabwe, Fuchs Silkolene and KTM under Alfie Cox of South Africa.
In the motocross MX1 section, Cameron Thixton was crowned the top dog for 2018, followed by Doug Mellor.
In fact, there was a double celebration for the Thixton family on Saturday night as Cameron’s elder brother Ashley walked away with the MX2 Trophy, which he scooped ahead of Josh Goby.
Young Emile Croissette was also crowned the 50cc Class champion for 2018 ahead of Karl van As and Callum Moore.
Saturday night also saw the sport of drag racing being included in the ZMSF National Championship dinner and awards function, where the country’s top drag racers, Terry Alberry and Mano Zevgolis, were honoured for their outstanding achievements during the 2018 season. In the Unlimited Motorcycles section, the first three places went to Shaun Whyte, Matthew Schultz and Ashley Thixton.
Meanwhile, the first round of the 2019 Zimbabwe National Motocross Championship will be held on Sunday at Donnybrook in Harare.
All the country’s top junior and senior male and female riders are expected to be in action. The action gets underway at 10am and there will be full bar and catering.