Stewart MacLeod, Mac Attack, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters

Kawasaki ZX10R Masters: (our) hall of fame

Yeah, You could be the greatest/ You can be the best/ You can be the king kong banging on your chest/ ... sounds the lyrics by The Script ft. will.i.am.

With their king kong chests they HAVE lifted the dust from this once famed Kyalami motor racing circuit—putting back the joie de vivre.

Since their last race meeting (Red Star), the whole team had a lot of time to think (presumably), strategize (a few even got some serious practice time in long before D-day) and readying themselves for Kyalami. (As mentioned before, Red Star IS one of the greatest motorcycle racing circuits, but it was also the Pororoca (in surfer terms) on their racing calendar.) As a team they left the black ribbon (RSR) in glory, arriving here at Kyalami, which is a much faster and wider racetrack. The front runners on the starting grid are very well aware of this. There will be no time for error, not even a subatomic particle.

Stewart Macleod (aka Mac Attack) took home the two top podium positions that were up for grabs on the day. Probably still grinning like the Cheshire Cat, after a very close battle with contort-nemesis, Gavin Lightfoot. Race one saw Stewart Macleod #46 taking top podium spot, with a best time of 01:45.012. Close on his Bridgestone R10 Battlax back tyre, was Gavin Lightfoot #32 in a best time of 01:45.671. In positions three, four, five and six followed Brian Bontekoning #16, Pieter de Vos #17, Justin Gillesen #84 and Johan le Roux #44, respectively.
Race two had almost the same chequered flag order: #46, #32, #16, and #17. Johan le Roux #44, however, moved up a place into fifth, leaving Justin Gillesen #84 hanging on to the last rung of the top six runners. CONGRATULATIONS MAC!

There is one Master however, in my trackside opinion, who is putting a lot of heart and soul into every race meeting these days: Brian Bontekoning. This is clearly visible in the amount of time he spends preparing his Kawasaki ZX10R race-bike. In due time (that is my prediction) he will take the chequered flag from Mac Attack, and his nemesis Gavin. Believe you me; Brian is very close to his goal. What is left of this year might not be enough to bring forth his winning-racing-alter-ego, but watch this space in 2014.

Before this race day was noted in the annals of history and subsequently the world-wide-web, a lot of energy was spent over two rounds—fuelled by the camaraderie, dedication and sportsmanship of thirty-two Masters.

On Saturday afternoon, just after the races, I’ve spent some time hanging about in the Kawasaki Masters’ garage, to get a better understanding of the mechanics of one of the most successful motorcycle racing fraternities in the country. Inside this cocoon of vibrancy, droning noises, fuel-filled air, old sweat, silent tears, pain and animated spirits, thumbs an invisible great heart that keeps these scoot jockeys tethered to something spectacular. Taking a sneak peek inside their garage when passing; or even standing at the pit wall voicing your opinion gives the ordinary man a miniscule impression of the whole and wonderful spectrum of true motorcycle racing. Inside THIS cocoon there is ONE HEART, and it deserves a hall of fame.

What does it take to be the greatest, to be the best? What does it take to end up in the hall of fame? Courage, camaraderie, teamwork, and the dedication of thirty–two Kawasaki Masters. There is no winning; there is no losing—welcome to OUR hall of fame:

—Tony Klem #13, Hannes de Vos #15, Brian Bontekoning #16, Pieter de Vos #17, Kyle Robinson #18, Johan Fourie #19, JB Schoeman #23, Simon Bezuidenhout #25, Peet de Lange #26, Francois Saunders #27, Paul Webber #28, Chris Marais #30, Gavin Lightfoot #32, Raymond Keel #33, Paul Jacobs #37, Carel Brits #40, Rodney McLachlan #42, Jaco Gous #43, Johan le Roux #44, Stewart Macleod #46, Bertus Meyburgh #50, Gavin Wagenaar #54, Sid Farinha #57, Peter Clark #64, Stewart Christie #65, Henk Schuiling #69, Apanna Ganapathy #77, Andre van Vollenstee #82, Stuart Russell #83, Justin Gillesen #84, Steven Smit #85 and Walter Marafioti #99—

And the world's gonna know your name/ Cause you burn with the brightest flame/ And the world's gonna know your name/ And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame/... Be a champion, Be a champion, Be a champion, Be a champion. —Godspeed!

(Music and lyrics by—The Script. Watch the YouTube video here; visit their website here; buy the music here; history here.)

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Extreme Festival, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, Kyalami Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2013/05/11, 102 images) Main Image: Stewart MacLeod #46, Kawasaki ZX10R.

Extreme Festival, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, images: 63/102