Tony Klem, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, Pro Tour Series

Pro Tour Series: The Devil is coming look busy

As a kid my mum always used some kind of child psychology to reprimand me, and one of those were, 'The devil is coming for you.'
On super bike Friday (with the practice sessions of the Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters) I got to meet the Devil himself—my mom’s exaggerated words came true, and my fears uncalled for. He is not that daunting, a person like you and me with a friendly and outgoing personality, definitely misrepresented.

There is one thing I love to do on a Friday morning, at the Zwartkops racetrack, when the Kawasaki Masters are in town, and that is to greet to my good friend Ike Bodigelo, have a long animated chat with JB Schoeman (the real Tony Soprano) and to appreciate the diligent efforts of a group of Kawasaki Masters setting up base camp. After the team effort the guys can't wait to get on the track and burn some serious Bridgestone rubber on a frigid tar surface.

At the start of turn one a senior marshal touched the tarmac and said in a calm voice, 'These boys will have a hard time gluing their bikes to this cold track.' Touching the surface, I smiled and commented, 'I feel what you are saying.'
The last serious incident we had here was with the, Inland Championship, but I can confidently report back that the rider and his #50 Kawasaki ZX10R are in perfect condition—ready to compete in another great race.

As usual, Ike was in great spirits, putting in some serious practice time. His persistence paying off.

Turn two. Sitting in wait for these scoot jockeys to come pass, lightning fast. I initially lay in wait at the perilous turn seven, but a small voice directed me to a warmer spot in the sun, 300 meters after turn two on the super fast back straight. This is where you get to appreciate the energy exerted by these race bikes. Right next to the track I sat down on the arid grass, slightly shielded by a steel barrier—uncomfortable but happy.

First to enter the fast Zwartkops back straight was Rodney McLachlan #42, followed by Stuart Russell #83, Paul Jacobs #37, (Nicky Dicks bears the same number—great people with the same number, wow) Peet de Lange #26. Following suit was Brian Super 16 Bontekoning, followed by the Devil (number and name deliberately omitted) and lightning quick Pieter de Vos #17. I waited the whole first practice session at that dusty spot for Stewart Macleod #46 who didn’t make an appearance on his prominent Kawasaki ZX10R—Wish you were here! Wherever you are I hope you enjoy the vista.

The rest of the Kawasaki Masters followed with great dedication; on the flip side I tried my best to look busy—the Devil just went passed me thirteen times, must be my lucky day! •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Pro Tour Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/06/29, Practice Session, 72 images) Kawasaki ZX10R Masters.