6 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Americans in for Summer Series

THREE American motocross riders - Jerrad Fisher, Cole Barbieri and Dare DeMartile - arrived in Harare on Tuesday and quickly declared that they were here to conquer in this year's Zimbabwe Summer Series event.

The 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series is once again spread over four days and will be staged at the home of local motorsport -- Donnybrook -- on December 8, 12, 14 and 16.

The Summer Series is the country's premier motorcycling event and this year it has attracted an array of top international riders from the United States, Great Britain, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda.

And three Americans, Fisher, Barbieri and DeMartile, were among the first foreign riders to fly into Harare on Tuesday, well ahead of the opening day of the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series at Donnybrook on Saturday.

The trio is being hosted by Gary Grainger, chairman of the Bogwheelers Club who run motocross in this country, and yesterday they declared "war" against the local and other foreign riders they will take on during the four days of racing at the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues yesterday, Fisher said they were well prepared for this event and were looking "to do a good job" at the Summer Series.

"We arrived in Africa on November 21 and we first landed in Johannesburg before we went to Botswana and then we are here in Zimbabwe for the Summer Series.

"I think we are here to have a good time and to do a good job at the same time because my colleagues, Cole and Dare, are very good riders and they should win their races.

"I expect them to finish in the top three in their respective classes," said Fisher.

Fisher added that he will not be competing competitively in the Summer Series but will be doing some demonstration rides while Barbieri and DeMartile will be fighting for the top honours in this event.

Fisher of Northern Carolina in the United States has been in the motocross industry since 1991 when he started racing.

He turned pro in 1999 and raced Supercross and the Outdoor Nationals in the United States until 2004.

In fact, Fisher said he last raced as a professional in 2007 but will be coming out of retirement to compete in the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series.

"I'm here to do some exhibitions but my other two colleagues, Cole and Dare, will be in contesting for the top honours in this event," Fisher said.

Barbieri has been entered for the MXII Class and DeMartile the 85cc Class at the Summer Series.

The former rider is well-known back home in the United States for his perseverance, determination, will and desire to do what he loves - ride and race dirt bikes and compete.

Barbieri is reported to have had a rough time in late 2007 and early 2008.

He suffered four badly broken bones over a 10-and-a-half month period.

His biggest disappointment was making the 2007 Loretta Lynn's and then breaking his femur three weeks before he was supposed to go race. That landed him in the hospital for four days and a major surgery that left him out for four months.

But Barbieri's passion for the sport of motocross is stronger than ever, especially considering all the adversity and pain he has endured.

His colleague, DeMartile, describes himself as a person who "loves motocross! I eat, sleep and breathe it!"

"I am very active and love to hang out with my friends on and off the track.

"I also like to BMX and work out at the gym.

"I also ride endurocross with my dad at Stoneyford, California."

Back home in the United States, Barbieri and DeMartile race in the intermediate class which, Fisher said, is one rung below the professionals.

Meanwhile, Barbieri and DeMartile will have their first real feel of the Donnybrook track this evening when they join the rest of the other competitors for this year's Summer Series in a "Super" practise session.

The two-hour "Super" practise session will start at around 6pm.

The 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series will get underway on Saturday with a motocross meet at Donnybrook and it will be followed by two Supercross races next Wednesday and Friday night. The series will wind up on December 16 with another motocross meet at the same venue. Big "Bigs" Chitima, the vice-chairman of the Bogwheelers Club, said there would be a full bar and catering at this year's Summer Series and entry fee has been pegged at US$5 per person.

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