5 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Riders in for Summer Series

THE first batch of 30 international motocross riders for the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series is expected to arrive in Harare today ahead of the start of the country's premier motorcycling event at the weekend.

This year's Zimbabwe Summer Series will once again be held over four days on December 8, 12, 14 and 16 at the home of local motorsport -- Donnybrook.

The 2012 Summer Series will consist of two days of motocross on December 8 and 16, and two nights of supercross (night racing) on December 12 and 14.

This year's event, which is organised by the Bogwheelers Club who run the sport of motocross in this country, is reported to have attracted 30 top international riders from the United States, England, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Botswana.

And according to the vice-chairman of the Bogwheelers Club, Big "Bigs" Chitima, most of these international riders are expected to fly into Harare today with the rest coming in tomorrow.

"We are expecting the three top American riders and those from England to arrive in Harare tomorrow (today) while the rest will start arriving on Thursday.

"In fact, one of the top five South African riders, who have entered for this year's Summer Series, and one Zambian rider arrived in Harare today (yesterday).

"But we are expecting all the other international riders from Uganda, South Africa and Botswana to be in by either tomorrow (today) or on Thursday," Chitima said at a Press briefing in Harare yesterday.

The 30 international riders are all expected to be in Harare in time for the first "Super" practise session which is scheduled for tomorrow night at Donnybrook.

Chitima said the visiting riders will be joined by all the top local motocross competitors in tomorrow's two-hour "Super" practise session as they prepare for the opening day of the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series this coming Saturday.

"This promises to be the biggest Summer Series event in Zimbabwe since we revived it two years ago as all our top motocross riders, from the juniors right up to the seniors and veterans, will be in attendance over the four days of action.

"In fact, all our top junior and senior riders have in the past couple of weeks been putting in some extra hours of training at Donnybrook in preparation for this big international event.

"They are all raring to go and itching to take on the visiting international riders and some very exciting duels are on the cards for all the classes in this event," Chitima said.

Riders at this year's Summer Series will compete in nine classes -- MXI, MXII, Masters and Veterans, Senior B, 85cc, 65cc, 50cc, Junior B and Pee Wee.

And another "Battle Royale" is expected in the two main classes of the Summer Series event -- the MXI and MXII -- in which three of Zimbabwe's top senior riders Jayden Ashwell, Ashley Thixton and Sean Mitchell will be pitting their skills against the visiting international riders.

The country's top young riders Tafadzwa Mawarire, Wade Ashwell, Regan Wasmuth and the consistent Mike Mawarire are expected to battle it out for the top honours in the 85cc Class.

Davin Cocker is a safe bet to win the 65cc Class title but he is likely to have his work cut out by his main local rivals in this category -- Tristan Grainger, JD Harrison and Reagan Bond.

In fact, nine-year-old Tristan Grainger has just moved up from the 50cc to the 65cc Class and it will be interesting to see how the exciting young rider will handle the pressure during this year's Summer Series.

Another "young gun" -- seven-year-old Big "BJ" Chitima (Junior) -- has also moved from the Pee Wee Class to the 50cc Class where he will be fighting for the first podium place with Mudiwa Chigumba and Kuda Mhene.

Tanya Muzinda (8), one of the few girls who are into motocross in this country, will also be showcasing her skills in the Pee Wee Class.

Muzinda is a Grade Three Pupil at Eaglesvale School in Harare.

Joshua Bailey, the national champion in the 65B Class, will be tested in this section by the Evans brothers, Reagan and John.

And this all points out to some high octane of motocross racing during the four days of action in this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series at Donnybrook, starting this Saturday.

Donnybrook is just adjacent to Harare's eastern suburb of Mabvuku and the popular motorsport racing circuit can be reached through Arcturus Road or Mutare Road.

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