Stewart MacLeod, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, Kawasaki ZX10R

Kawasaki ZX10R Masters: Men on the Moon

It is still very early and we’re off to Phakisa Freeway (near Welkom, in the Free State), for another great race day. In the west, the moon is descending at its own pace, waning towards earth’s horizon. This beautiful moment, on an almost quiet highway, inspired a moment which left a permanent mark on the moon.

Inside the cocoon of steel, plastic and Japanese technology—that shields us from the -4 degrees outside—R.E.M. is having a blast at Andy Kaufman, something about a man on the moon. A few tracks later Ballyhoo (most of us will remember this great South African band), is asking for advice about his love life, also from the man on the moon. Shish! How many times can the moon feature in one day?

With our arrival, spectators are still greeted by the same overstated welcoming board. During the course of the day many visitors pinched off some time to eternalize this day by posing for pictures in front of it. This is confirmation that people still enjoy motorsport; they still enjoy the thunderous noise of ostentatious racing cars; they still enjoy motorcycles gliding through the turns; they still ENJOY the energy that gets wasted by the Kawasaki Masters Club—THE EXTREME FESTIVAL!

The Phakisa Freeway pit complex is a cacophony of motorsport noise and activity. The first section is occupied by 30 Kawasaki Masters plus one lady-racer, Colleen Smit. And we would like to say: ‘WELCOME!’ Even though Colleen did not fare so well during the scheduled two races, I personally think a few Masters wounded up the throttles a bit further, to spare themselves a pink faced moment. Imagine having the sexy eyes staring back at THEM, mocking them from under her pink ornate Kawasaki ZX10R race-seat.
The race garage emits this beautiful droning sound when the Kawasaki Race bikes idle on their stands, readying themselves for Phakisa Freeway. Underneath this droning sound, there are all this accumulated energy, exhaust fumes and elated faces of 31 Masters.

During the week I read an article about the most expensive coffee beans out there: Kopi Luwak. To make a long story short: ‘The luwak will eat only the choicest, most perfectly matured beans which it then excretes, partially digested, a few hours later. Plantation workers then retrieve the beans from the ground, ready for immediate roasting.’ And it sells for up to $600 per pound, or, wait for it—$30 a brewed cup! (?)

At the back of the Phakisa pit complex is the cafeteria (a really smelly place), inside, an old-ish man with Bryl-creemed hair, sits in front of a coffee machine. Every time he fills a coffee order, he first burns his index finger, before he realises he can use the handle of a spoon to control the steam. He must have done it about 10 times before he filled my order. Could it be possible that he has read the same Kopi Luwak article, but, retrieved the “wrong-beans”? It was the worst Crappie Luwak I’ve ever tasted. And you might ask what this has to do with motorsport? Well, as any mature scoot jockey will tell you: the first cup must be the right cup, or else the rest of the day will turn out to be a bit murky. (?)

—Race day: Stewart MacLeod is as smooth as peanut butter on warm bread. Could this be due to the fact that nemesis Gavin Lightfoot is in-dispose? On the flip side of this peanut butter façade, are Brain Bontekoning and Pieter de Vos, sharpening their teeth, not only for each other, but also for Mr Peanut Butter himself.

In both rounds/races, Stewart MacLeod, appeared to be de-throttling; nestling inside the Kawasaki mass. At the fore front of this thunderous hysteria are Brian Bontekoning and Pieter de Vos, but not for long. By the second or third round, Steward was safely leading the pack. This left Brain Bontekoning and Pieter de Vos dishing out the punches for second and third place, followed by a very vigorous bunch of Masters. Stewart Macleod recorded a best time for the day of 01:41.281. Hot on his Bridgestone Battlax R10 back tyre was Brian Bontekoning #16 (best lap: 01:41.657) and Pieter de Vos #17 (best lap: 01:42.012) in third place. Places four, five and six were filled by Kyle Robinson #18, Johan le Roux #44 and Tony Klem #13. The middle order saw Walter Marafioti throttle out spot number 15, and Jaco Gous, 16. Back order saw Stewart Christie #65 punch out spot number 20, Rodney McLachlan #42, spot 23 and Colleen Smit #47, in 29th place.

Round two delivered almost the same results for the front order: Stewart MacLeod #46 scored the top podium spot again, followed by Brian Bontekoning and Pieter de Vos. Johan le Roux exchanged places with Kyle Robinson to take up the fourth place, while fifth and sixth position were filled by Kyle Robinson and Robbie Breakspear #88 (Robbie moved up from eight position). Middle order Master, Peet de Lange #26, moved up from 14th to 13th place. Local Free State boytjie, Bertus Meyburgh #50 dropped from 17th to 19th.
The back order places, 27, 28, 29 and 30, were filled by Johan Fourie #19, JB Schoeman #23, Paul Webber #28, and pink lady Colleen Smit.

Bad coffee or not. Today was a great day for motorcycle racing. The Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters has truly given spectators their money’s worth (even though entrance was FREE).

And just as the swallows under the tunnel (connecting the outside world to motorsport) has left for warmer pastures, so too did we leave for another, different, civilization: Pretoria. And before you know it the moon was in full glory in the eastern sky, and on it a small dark anomaly reminded me again of what a great day we were fortunate to have had.
They say Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. If you look at the dull winter look of Phakisa Freeway, they (Nasa), could have fabricated the moon landing and moon walk out here. And stepping out onto its almost rough surface was 31 proud scoot jockeys of the Kawasaki Masters Club. These Kawa-nauts, made history here today—Men on the Moon. —Godspeed!

STARTING GRID LINE UP: 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, Raymond Keel #33, Paul Jacobs #37, Carel Brits #40, Rodney McLachlan #42, Jaco Gous #43, Johan le Roux #44, Stewart MacLeod #46, Colleen Smit #47, Bertus Meyburgh #50, Gavin Wagenaar #54, Sid Farinha #57, Peter Clark #64, Stewart Christie #65, Appanna Ganapathy #77, Andre van Vollenstee #82, Stuart Russell #83, Justin Gillesen #84, Robbie Breakspear #88, Walter Marafioti #99.

RESULTS RACE ONE: (1) Stewart MacLeod (best lap: 01:41.281), (2) Brian Bontekoning, (3) Pieter de Vos, (4) Kyle Robinson, (5) Johan le Roux, (6) Tony Klem.

RESULTS RACE TWO: (1) Stewart MacLeod (best lap: 01:41.449), (2) Brian Bontekoning, (3) Pieter de Vos, (4) Johan le Roux, (5) Kyle Robinson, (6) Robbie Breakspear.

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Extreme Festival, Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, Phakisa Freeway, South African Motorsport, 2013/06/22, 168 images)

Extreme Festival, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, images: 63/168