Killarney International Raceway hosted The Liqui Moly Cape Town Round, the third in the 2019 SA SuperBike series, on Saturday, 11 May. A pair of races that were in doubt until the final metres saw Cape Town’s David McFadden power his RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1 to a narrow win over Clint Seller (King Price Yamaha Racing R1) in the opening SuperBike heat, while in the next McFadden had to settle for second after Seller was able to repel his late charge.
In the SuperSport 600 class, Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team Yamaha R6) had a comfortable win in the opening heat but defending champion Blaze Baker (King Price Yamaha Racing R6) bounced back in the second to take a narrow victory.
Friday’s qualifying sessions saw Seller just get the better of Hayden Jonas (WP Motors/Samurai SA Yamaha R1) to claim pole position with Nicolas Grobler (Adrenalin Powersport/Meanwraps Yamaha R1) joining them on the front row of the grid. An all Cape Town second row was headed by Lance Isaacs, who had David McFadden (RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) and Ronald Slamet (PLM Motorsport Yamaha R1) alongside him.
Row three was occupied by Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1), Morne Geldenhuis (Race Craft Motorcycles Yamaha R1) and Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1), who missed out on the chance to improve his time in the final session as he had to return to Johannesburg for a matric dance. Dylan Barnard (NPL Yamaha R1), Karl Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Browns Property Suzuki GSXR1000) and Aran van Niekerk (Appleberry/7 Stars Kawasaki ZX10R) filled the final row.
When the lights went out at the start of the opening race, Seller grabbed the early lead, but he had a Cape Town trio in his wheel tracks. Isaacs, Jonas and McFadden pressured the former champion with Jonas taking the lead shortly before the half-way mark. Seller regained the lead a couple of laps later and McFadden then took up the challenge while Jonas kept a watching brief. Just as Jonas started closing the gap to the leading pair, electronic gremlins saw him coast to a halt at the exit to turn three. Seller and McFadden were never separated by more than a couple of bike lengths as they pulled away from Isaacs. McFadden bided his time and pounced on the final lap, taking the win by just over a quarter of a second. Isaacs ended in third with Grobler in fourth. The race-long dice between Bester and Vlok went the way of Bester with Barnard and van Niekerk in seventh and eighth.
Race 1 was a thriller, but the second heat was even better. The same four broke away at the front with Isaacs taking the lead from Seller on the fourth lap. A couple of laps later Seller was back in front and again had McFadden chasing for all he was worth. Jonas and Isaacs dropped back slightly as they fought for the final podium position. McFadden again waited until the dying moments to make his move, but this time Seller was able to hang on, taking the win by just eight tenths. Jonas managed to stay ahead of Isaacs to claim a podium on his return to the national stage. Bester took another fifth place, this time without the attention of Vlok who crashed out in the early stages while battling with the leading group. Van Niekerk took sixth ahead of Barnard. Grobler, who had high expectations in the second race was disappointed when the crank sensor on his Yamaha failed as they were preparing to head to the grid. While his crew were able to get him out after effecting repairs, he was too far behind to mount any challenge. He did, however, claim eighth.
In the day’s overall standings, McFadden took the win from Seller and Isaacs.
It was a Cape Town lockout of the front row in the 600 category. Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team Yamaha R6) led the way from Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6) and Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling/RPM Centre Kawasaki ZX6R). Defending champion Blaze Baker (King Price Yamaha R6) headed the second row of the grid with Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing Team Yamaha R6) and JP Friederich (GR Tax/Johnny Fox Kawasaki ZX6R) alongside him. Donovan le Cok (RPM Centre Kawasaki ZX6R) set a time that gave him seventh on the grid but a crash shortly after setting his best time brought his race weekend to a premature end. Gareth Gehlig (Gareth Gehlig Racing Kawasaki ZX6R) and Luca Balona (Armadillo Construction/Fibre Technologies Kawasaki ZX6R) completed the third row.
Otto and Staffen were the quickest to react when the lights went out to signal the start of the first race, but it wasn’t long before Snyman moved into the lead. He was able to pull away at the front and go on to take a comfortable win. Baker had to settle for second while Schultz was also able to get past Staffen and Otto to take the final podium position. Friederich, Gehlig and Balona rounded out the top six.
In race two, Snyman took the lead but couldn’t pull away as he did in the opening heat. Baker didn’t let him get away and in the second half of the race, they swapped positions a couple of times before the final lap. Snyman led over the line going into the final lap but Baker made his move and was able to take victory by just over a tenth of a second. Schultz again claimed the final podium position with Staffen not far behind. Friederich took fifth ahead of Otto with Gehlig and Balona again in seventh and eighth.
The overall win went to Snyman with Baker and Schultz joining him on the podium.
The SA SuperBike series in association with Metzler now moves up the coast to Port Elizabeth where round 4 will take place at the Aldo Scribante circuit on 14 & 15 June.