The SA SuperBike Series makes its second visit of 2019 to Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway for the fifth round of the 2019 championship on 26 & 27 July. The event, sponsored by Liqui Moly, the Manufacturer of Premium Oils, Additives and Automotive Chemicals, exclusively made in Germany, signals the start of the second half of the season.
At the half-way mark, former multiple champion Clint Seller (King Price Yamaha Racing R1) leads the points standings in the 1000cc SuperBike class but he has had to fight hard for his 26-point lead. Lance Isaacs (LIR/Superbets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) is his closest rival and will be looking to repeat the double win that he came away with when the series first visited Zwartkops back in April. In contrast, David McFadden (RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) didn’t have a great outing at the event, but since then he has finished on the podium at every race to close the gap to Isaacs to just two points.
While the focus in the championship is on the top three, there are a number of riders who could make things difficult for them. Chief among them will be regular Moto2 world championship competitor Steven Odendaal. The former multiple South African champion will be making a guest appearance on a Yamaha R1. Dylan Barnard (NPL Yamaha R1) claimed his first podium finish of the season at Aldo Scribante and will be looking to build on that, while Garrick Vlok (DCCS Coring Cutting and Sealing Yamaha R1) will be looking to regain the form that saw him finish in second place at the earlier Zwartkops round. Morne Geldenhuis (Race Craft/NCA Plant Hire Yamaha R1) has had mixed fortunes this season but is capable of running at the front when things go his way. Bryon Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) returns after an injury-enforced lay off and will be looking challenge the leaders.
Blaze Baker (The Rossi Sports Bar Yamaha R6) has yet to finish off the podium in 2019 and leads the SuperSport 600 title race by 23 points. He, however, cannot rest on his laurels as Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team Yamaha R6) has won three of the last four heats and will be looking to close the gap even further at Zwartkops. Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6) had his best outing of the season in Port Elizabeth and occupies third place in the standings, 26 points behind Snyman. Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing Team Yamaha R6) and Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling/RPM Centre Kawasaki ZX6R) and Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme Yamaha R6) round out the top six on the log with Dian Nelson (TRD Motorcycles Yamaha R6) not far behind in seventh. Taric van der Merwe (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R6) will also be making a welcome return.
As usual, Friday will see the riders tackle the three qualifying sessions that will determine the grid for both of Saturday’s heats. The riders will head out for a warm-up session at 08h20 on Saturday morning they tackle two 12-lap heats, the first at 10h45 with the second scheduled to start at 13h35.