Stewart MacLeod, Kawasaki ZX10R, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters

Stewart "Mac Attack" MacLeod: ... #1

Red Square Kawasaki Masters

Kawasaki ZX10R Masters: closing time

We have reached the final point on the motorcycle racing calendar; from here on it will be a long, cold (even though it’s summer) and silent period. Leaving us with lots of free time to spend with our families or catch up on the weekend’s gardening duties (that so dearly needs our attention).
Our exhaust pipes will get cobwebs, the dials will gather dust, and our fingers will grow stiff; our race suites will either grow bigger or smaller, and our race boots will have some much needed time away from smelly feet; our minds will get clogged with boredom, and we will long for the next Kawasaki (ZX10R) motorcycle racing season, to come speedily.

It was also during the 2013 season that I stood witness to many great moments, many hard moments, and many cheeringly and not so cheerful moments. Here I saw how their characters were formed in the caldron of blood sweat and (and I don’t want to say it out loud) tears. How they emerged from their racing cocoons all sweaty, knackered and elated; extending their arms with the last bit of energy to grab an ice cold Red Square (Alcohol FREE) energy drink. With their heads tilted backwards, they drain the cold refreshing energy down scorched throats, before they move their heads steadily down to face the horde of dedicated followers and Kawasaki enthusiasts.
Amongst them they will re-live the race all over again, right there and then in the Parc fermé. And as their world gets in tune with those who stood witness, they will then drive off (slowly) to give their ZX10R race-bikes a well-deserved rest period (on their stands), before the next battle calls their names again.

Stewart "Mac Attack" MacLeod throttled out a perfect score: 450 points to his name; winning every single race meeting in the Masters class. The rest was a bit disgruntled, so the club decided to weigh/restrict the man down with fourteen-kilograms of dead weight. Well, to be honest, this manoeuvre did not stop Stewart MacLeod from winning; instead it inspired him even more. If you want to STOP the "Mac Attack", I suggest taking away his number forty-six Kawasaki ZX10R superbike. Next year the contention might be even more stiffer than this year, with the arrival of Graeme van Breda #41 (who showed a lot of progress during the last few race meetings; still a bit rusted, but he will get there). We will also keep a close eye on Gavin Lightfoot #32, Pieter de Vos #17 (who shows a lot of true potential), Brian Bontekoning #16 (he has dedicated a lot of time to his race bike, and to his unique racing style. Nice and tight down every straight and turn), and of course, Paul "Maverick" Jacobs #37. So this is the top six, that spectators can lock their cameras/binoculars onto, in the next motorcycle racing season.

In my previous article I gave my readers a heads-up: Stewart MacLeod received his (almost as tall as the man himself) Bridgestone sponsored trophy for reeling in the Masters series. Second spot belonged to Paul "Maverick" Jacobs #37. He is also Stewart’s trusted and loyal teammate; third place belonged to lucky-number-thirteen Tony Klem.
In the Veteran class, contortionist Gavin Lightfoot took the WINNING trophy home followed by terrier Pieter de Vos in second, and Johan le Roux #44 in third.
Overall (Masters + Veterans combined) belonged to winners Stewart MacLeod, Gavin Lightfoot and Pieter de Vos.
JB Schoeman #23 won the Spirit of the Year award. Anybody who has ever met JB would have agreed to this—CONGRATULATIONS JB! A very rare JB moment indeed.

Then onto the lighter side of life: After Tony (Klem) has received his Bridgestone Trophy; carefully placing it on an elevated spot next to the dinner table, where most could see his spent efforts. And I saw a Master that were very pleased and proud of what he had accomplished, even his beautiful wife, gave it a nod. Then I had to throw a spanner into the works (that’s me), by calculating what that trophy has actually cost him. Considering: fuel, tyres, spare part, accidents, race suite, boots, helmet, different coloured visors etc. We are talking about five big zeros in one Kawasaki ZX10R season. The man was not at all pleased with me, not at all. Later he just smiled and agreed that it was worth every penny. Cheers!

In our lifetime, we spent much of what we earn on evanescence (the rest gets inherited by our children, before they ship us off to some retirement "village", on the opposite side from where they live). We come into the world with nothing; and we leave with nothing. After we have left for the great beyond, it will only be our memories that are carried over from one generation to the next. And somewhere in between the coming and going it is quite alright to spend it on whatever you want. Just remember to buy flowers now and then, to keep their heads (women in our lives) cool and their love close.

This season has reached its expiry date. We will remember the great moments, the difficult moments, the laughter, the fierce competition, camaraderie, friendship, the stories, the Kawasaki ZX10R Class of 2013. And I was part of it, every photo tells a different story, if you stare at it long enough. To stevedore Johan Fourie #19 and to Lynette Fourie (for taking all my calls, answering all my emails), thank you for a great year and a well-managed season; to the rest of the Kawasaki Masters—Semper Pugnans; Semper Fidelis (Always Fighting; Always Faithful/Always Loyal).

Closing time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here. Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end (Lyrics from the song Closing Time, by Semisonic). Until I see you lot again, drive safely, keep the good times rolling, build new memories AWAY from the racetrack, have a wonderful Xmas (open you presents with eager fingers) and a very prosperous and Happy New Year. —Godspeed!

STARTING GRID LINE UP: Tony Klem #13, Hannes de Vos #15, Brian Bontekoning #16, Pieter de Vos #17, Kyle Robinson #18, JB Schoeman #23, Peet de Lange #26, Francois Saunders #27, Paul Webber #28, Gavin Lightfoot #32, Raymond Keel #33, Paul Jacobs #37, Carel Brits #40, Graeme van Breda #41, Rodney McLachlan #42, Jaco Gous #43, Johan le Roux #44, Stewart MacLeod #46, Gavin Wagenaar #54, Sid Farinha #57, Andre Denoon #58, Peter Clark #64, Stewie Christie #65, Henk Schuiling #69, Pieter Henstra #70, Appanna Ganapathy #77, Andre van Vollenstee #82, Stuart Russell #83, Robbie Breakspear #88.

RESULTS RACE ONE: (1) Stewart MacLeod (best lap: 01:03.549), (2) Gavin Lightfoot, (3) Graeme van Breda, (4) Paul Jacobs, (5) Pieter de Vos, (6) Brian Bontekoning.

RESULTS RACE TWO: (1) Stewart MacLeod (best lap: 01:03.718), (2) Gavin Lightfoot, (3) Graeme van Breda, (4) Brian Bontekoning, (5) Pieter de Vos, (6) Andre van Vollenstee.

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Extreme Festival, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2013/11/30, 120 images) Main Image: Stewart MacLeod #1, Kawasaki ZX10R Master.

Extreme Festival, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, images: 63/120

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