Dylan Barnard, Honda RS125R, Northern Regions Racing

Northern Regions Racing: Are we victims of gravity?

I still remember the day my dad brought home my first bike, no, not that kind of bike—a bicycle—the type you peddle. It was the best thing ever with its bright red metallic finish and a gear system that could sent any Tour de France cyclist and friends into a state of perpetual envy. That summer was pure bliss, until I bought my first piece of real estate in town—OUCH! My bright red metallic bike was bent out of proportion, resembling a Blue Curry art piece... gravity or untied shoelaces?

Friday morning—a culmination of dreams, aspirations, energy, adrenalin and anything else that make up a wonderful motorcycle practice day. The Full Throttle race day has finally reached the tarmac of Zwartkops Raceway and tomorrow WILL be—Judgement Day! The air was already filled with the rhythm of the race track when I arrived; the droning of race bikes adding to the prospect of a wonderful day ahead. With my Nikon camera gear over my shoulder I headed off to bear witness to motorcycle race history in the making.

In the pits, the NRR fraternity had already set up base camp; all the different motorcycle race classes were present. The tenacious Honda NSF Junior Trophy team, Moto 3/GP 125 (mostly Honda RS125 bikes, featuring the lightning quick Darryn Binder), 150cc Cup (Honda CBR 150s), 250cc Cup (Honda and Kawasaki motorcycles), Formula Xtreme, Botts (KTM RC8 and KTM RC8R dominated), Breakfast Run (storm chasers) and the Supersport 600cc class.
The pinnacle of the NRR Full Throttle race event must be the Unlimited Superbikes, featuring a few of my favourite scoot jockeys—Greg Gildenhuys (BMW S1000RR, #1), Stephen Steenkamp (Honda CBR1000RR, #11), Jason Wessels (KTM RC8R, #22), Jonathan de Vos (Kawasaki ZX10, #15), Ryan Cooper (BMW S1000RR, #17), long standing motorcycle master, Gavin Lightfoot (Kawasaki ZX10R, #48). Domo arigato—Master! MCSA Magazine man Robert Portman (Kawasaki ZX10R, #86) and Nicolas Grobler, the Joker, straddling his new Silver Dream Machine (BMW S1000RR, #122). Let the lights go out!

At the far end of the racetrack (turn six to be exact) I'd made myself at home. With the sun behind my back I waited patiently for the real Friday to kick off. Snapping away at the different classes also gave ME the opportunity to hone my photographic skills by copying and pasting something for the history books. Like I've mentioned before, practising never stops.

When Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton designed and patented gravity centuries ago (what THEY didn't know was gravity actually came stock standard with the creation of earth some 4 billion years ago), did they ever thought of the consequences; or should I be to blame for not tying my shoelaces tight enough?

Was it gravity or untied shoelaces (my ignorance, race boots don't have shoelaces) that caused Dylan Barnard, #64, on his Honda RS125R to come skidding down the tarmac flat on his back, ending up in the kitty litter.
Disorientated for a moment or so (after effect of gravity sickness), the lad rose with a shake of the head. I dashed over to be of assistance, but to no avail, his bike had already thrown in the race towel. I guess we are all victims of gravity some or other time in our lives. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Northern Regions Racing, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/05/11, Practice Session, 157 images) Main Image: Dylan Barnard #64, Honda RS125R.

Northern Regions Racing, pitt complex images.