WITH almost all sporting activities frozen in Zimbabwe due to the coronavirus outbreak, young motocross rider Emmanuel Bako has decided to temporarily put up camp in South Africa.
Saturday saw the 14-year-old Zimbabwean rider taking part in an action-packed 2021 Cannabis Energy Drink & TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship season-opener at Terra Topia in Diepsloot, Gauteng.
He did well to come third in the Pro Mini 85cc Class.
And after claiming a spot on the podium on Saturday, Bako is now preparing to compete in round two of the 2021 Mayfair Gearbox Inland Championship at the same track this coming weekend.
This championship features 12 rounds, which have been spread from last month up to November, and its opening round took place at Dirt Bronco Raceway in Krugersdorp on January 30, where Bako amassed 50 points after winning both heats in the Pro Mini 85cc Class.
And Bako will be looking for a repeat performance when he returns to Terra Topia this coming Saturday for the second round of the Inland Championship, a regional event that brings together some of South Africa's top junior and senior riders.
Speaking to The Herald from Johannesburg yesterday, Bako's father and manager, Brighton, said they have decided to "camp in South Africa for the time being" since motorsport events, including motocross, in Zimbabwe, are currently on ice due to Covid-19 restrictions.
"Emmanuel just loves racing and since he can't train and compete in Zimbabwe due to the current situation of Covid-19 restrictions, we have decided to temporarily pitch our camp here in South Africa and this will allow him to take part in both the South African Nationals and Regional events.
"Emmanuel is now being trained by Tyron Juul, who is one of the best motocross trainers in South Africa, and we should expect fireworks when he gets back on the track at Terra Topia on Saturday for the second round of the Inland Championship series.
"In fact, after finishing third at last Saturday's season-opener of the 2021 South African Nationals, Emmanuel is buoyant and itching to get back on the same track at Terra Topia this coming weekend.
"He would like to tighten his grip at the top of the Pro Mini Standings after having claimed the top step on the podium during Round One of the Inland Championship at Dirt Bronco on January 30," Brighton said.
This Saturday will see Emmanuel facing some of South Africa's top junior riders whom he battled with for the top step on the podium during last Saturday's opening round of the 2021 South African Nationals at Terra Topia.
Splendid racing, excellent fields and a little controversy on the side were the highlights of an action-packed 2021 South African National Championship season-opener where Bako was forced to settle for third place in the Pro Mini 85cc Class.
A monster 30-bike entry lined up for the 85cc races as 65cc graduate Trey Cox took the holeshot aboard his Red Bull KTM before holding Lucca Mynhardt's KTM, Bako on a Gas Gas and Husqvarna trio Wian du Plooy, Neil van der Vyver and Jordan van Wyk's Husqvarna to win Pro Mini.
Mynhardt then took the second moto from van der Vyver, Bako, du Plooy, Cox and van Wyk, to score the Rider of the Day award and free entry to the second round of the series at Rover in Port Elizabeth on April 3.