Collin Matiza — Sports Editor
EMMANUEL Bako has a chance to win US$2 000, dangled by a fan as a challenge, if he conquers the fifth round of the 2021 South African National Motocross Championship series on Saturday.
The 2021 Cannabis Energy Drink TRP Distributors South African National Motocross Championship is expecting a full day's racing at Chestnut Hill Motocross Park in Bronkhorstspruit.
The tough seven-round South African Nationals series roars into life again on Saturday, after its fourth round was cancelled, midstream at Thunder Valley in Pietermaritzburg, on August 28.
Only one heat of racing went down when Pietermaritzburg's Thunder Valley lived up to its name and treacherous conditions caused all the classes' second races to be cancelled last time out.
Bako will join a host of top South African junior, and senior riders, in the fifth round where he will be the one to beat, in the 85cc Pro Mini Class.
He received a timely morale-booster when one of his avid followers, Gilbert Mkwavira, pledged to give him US$2 000, if he emerges triumphant, on Saturday.
Mkwavira was part of the crowd, during round seven of the Mayfair Gearbox Inland Championship series, last weekend.
He has indicated he will once again fly to Johannesburg, this weekend, to watch the young Zimbabwean rider in action.
"Emmanuel is a very talented young biker, with a bright future ahead of him, and I personally think that if he gets all the necessary support, from all the motocross stakeholders here in Zimbabwe, we have a World Champion in the making.
"He has the potential to reach superstardom and that's why I'm pledging US$2 000 to him if he wins again on Saturday," Mkwavira said.
Bako warmed up for this weekend's event by claiming the first step on the podium, in the 85cc Pro Mini Class, during last Saturday's seventh round of the 2021 Mayfair Gearbox Inland Championship series at Dirt Bronco Raceway.
He also emerged triumphant in the same class, in the fourth round of the South African Northern Region Championship series at Chestnut Hill Motocross Park, on September 4.
The 14-year-old Zimbabwean rider, who is now a serial winner in the South African motocross circuit, will be looking for a repeat performance, when he takes to the track at the same venue this Saturday, where he will face his South African rivals Trey Cox and Jordan van Wyk.
Before the abandoned fourth round, KTM lad Cox, Husqvarna rider van Wyk and Bako's Gas Gas, were split by three points, in the 85cc Pro Mini title chase.
And, the three young riders are set to resume their rivalry on Saturday with everything pointing to an exciting battle, for the first step on the podium, among the trio.
This Saturday's event will be followed by the sixth and penultimate round of the South African Nationals at BORC in Bloemfontein, on October 23. The seventh and last round of the 2021 South African National Championship series is scheduled for November 20, at Legends Motocross Park, in Gauteng.