Collin Matiza Sports Editor
TWO of Zimbabwe’s top junior motocross riders Emmanuel Bako and Regan Wasmuth all but waved goodbye to their title chases in the 65cc and 125cc High School classes in South Africa.
They failed to get the first step on the podium during the penultimate round of the 2018 South African National Championship series in Welkom on Saturday.
Bako (12) and Wasmuth (17) went into Saturday’s sixth round of the seven-round South African Nationals lying in third and second place in the 65cc and 12cc High School Class.
But they both came short in their bid to overhaul their Championship points leaders in a disappointing outing at Welkom.
Although Bako managed to finish second overall behind Lucca Mynhardt of South Africa in the 65cc Class, he needs more than a miracle to be crowned this year’s champion in this division in which he needed nothing short of an outright victory on Saturday.
Only a DNF by runaway leader Mynhardt during the last round of the series at Dirt Bronco on October 20 might see Bako sneaking in to win this year’s Championship ahead of the former.
Bako’s father and manager, Brighton, thinks all is not lost for his son after he finished second overall behind his main rival Mynhardt in Welkom on Saturday.
“The track at Welkom was rough and the weather conditions were windy but Emmanuel managed to finish second in both the 65cc and 85cc (Juniors) classes and I personally think he did well considering the injury he sustained during the fifth round of the series last month.
“We are just keeping our fingers crossed going into the final round of the series at Dirt Bronco on October 20. A DNF can cost the one leading in the group standings (of the 65cc Class). This is motocross and anything can happen. It’s not yet over for Emmanuel,” Brighton said.
Wasmuth is also in the same predicament after he finished a disappointing sixth overall in the 125cc High School Class in Welkom on Saturday.
Wasmuth took to the track on Saturday hoping to cut Justin Sangster’s 31-point lead over him in the 125cc High School Class Standings, but the young Zimbabwean rider found the going tough at Welkom where he ended up finishing in sixth place behind South African bikers Cameron Durow, Dalton Venter, Sangster, Arnu Saaiman and Mark Carty who took the first five places.
And this saw him kissing goodbye to his chances of being crowned the 2018 125cc High School Class Champion in South Africa.
The 125cc High School Class had a strong field of 18 riders.
Another top Zimbabwean rider Jayden Ashwell also competed in the sixth round of the South African Nationals in Welkom on Saturday and just like Wasmuth, he failed to get a place on the podium as he finished in fifth place in the main MX1 Class.
The first four places in this class went to South African riders David Goosen, Caleb Tennant, Kerim Fitz-Gerald and Anthony Raynard. There were 14 riders in the MX1 Class on Saturday.