The Herald (Harare)

12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Summer Series in Top Gear

THE 2012 Zimbabwe motocross Summer Series will move a gear up tonight with the staging of the second day of the exciting motorcycling event at Donnybrook in Harare. The Summer Series is the

country's premier motorcycling event and it is held annually over four days in December where it attracts top international riders from in and outside Africa.

This year's Zimbabwe Summer Series has attracted more than 20 international riders from the United States, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Uganda.

They have been joined in this year's event by all the top motocross riders from Zimbabwe, making this year's Summer Series one of the biggest ever held in the country over the past few years.

The four-day 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series kick-started last Saturday at Donnybrook where some high octane motocross racing was witnessed by hundreds of local motorsport enthusiasts who thronged the home of local motorsport to watch this exciting event.

And the event returns to the same venue today for its second day, which will see the competitors taking part in a Supercross (night racing) meet, starting at 6pm.

Gary Grainger, the chairman of the Bogwheelers Club, who organises and stage the Summer Series event in Zimbabwe, said yesterday that the motocross fans, who were at Donnybrook last Saturday, should brace themselves for more exciting duels in all the classes during tonight's Supercross competition.

"Last Saturday, on the first day of competition at Donnybrook, we witnessed some very exciting races in all the classes. Everything went according to plan although one of our top riders Sean Mitchell injured himself during the main MXI Class race.

"Sean fell off his bike and dislocated his hip but he's recovering nicely and we hope to see him back in action before the end of the series," Grainger said.

The gods of motocross did not also smile on another top Zimbabwean rider Jayden Ashwell, who had problems with his bike on Saturday while racing in the main MXI Class.

But Grainger said "Jayden's bike problem has been sorted out and we are looking forward to some strong rides from him" in tonight's Supercross meet.

Ashwell is 12 points off the pace in the MXI Class and will be out to cover some lost ground in tonight's meet in which he will be grappling for control in this section with South Africa's Richard van der Westhuizen and Ross Branch of Botswana.

Three-time national champion Ashley Thixton is also competing in the main MXI Class and is capable of pulling something out of the hat during tonight's Supercross meet.

Zimbabwean champion in the 50cc Class, Tristan Grainger, is also fighting for survival in the Summer Series.

The talented nine-year-old rider had a big crash during the second race of the 50cc Class last Saturday and has waved goodbye to this category as he will now be racing in the 65cc Class for the remainder of the 2012 Summer Series, according to his father Gary Grainger.

"Last Saturday, Tristan won his first race in the 50cc Class but he had a big crash in the second and we have decided to move him up to the 65cc Class where he is second so far behind (fellow Zimbabwean) Davin Cocker.

"In fact, Tristan will be racing in the 65cc Class next year and I think it's good for him to just concentrate on riding in this class during this on-going Summer Series," Gary Grainger said.

Two American riders Dare DeMartile and Cole Barbieri will also be in action tonight competing in the 85cc and 125cc classes respectively.

In fact, both DeMartile and Barbieri are currently leading in their respective classes and are safe bets to win when the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series draws to a close at Donnybrook on Sunday.

Meanwhile, three junior riders from Uganda arrived in Harare on Monday night to join the rest of the local and international competitors in the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Series.

Before taking part in the last day of competition on Sunday, the riders will race in another Supercross meet at Donnybrook on Friday night.

Grainger said action today at Donnybrook starts at 3pm with junior riders competing against each other before the seniors join them at 6pm for the main Supercross racing.

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