Rodney McLachlan #42, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, Kawasaki ZX10R

Pro Tour Series: Fear kills!

At the back of Devil’s hearse the bold black words—don’t fool yourself fear kills—stand out form a myriad of trivial diarrhoea. Might this be a personal reminder or is it a message to a passing world. Whatever it is there might or might not be a bit of truth in the bold black statement.

Next to the track, racing a superbike sounds and looks uncomplicated. You acquire a race bike, the appropriate apparel and off you go. Since the fearless mind is connected to the throttle hand, you just need to turn it all the way and with unquestionable faith in your Bridgestone tyres believe that they will keep you glued to the tarmac. The next logical step would be to learn the track, take a few private lessons and then open that throttle all the way, while applying your (ill) knowledge of motorcycle racing. And while you’re at it, don’t forget visualising being the first to take the chequered flag.
Things are not that simple. It is much harder than you think as the mind does not always mirror the fearless heart, just ask JB Schoeman. JB is all heart, but lacks winning. For him it is all about being able to open the throttle and improve his time one second at a time.

Is fear the real killer of our winning dreams? We are all great at what we do best, but we can’t all be winners. Some are natural born winners (sometimes squandering their talents) and others like Tony Klem and Pieter de Vos are fighting race after race, with heart, body and mind to reach the top spot. The close knitted Kawasaki Masters are the best motorcycle race fraternity in the country, carrying with them sportsmanship, camaraderie, friendship and post-race-laughter. But, don’t be fooled, out on the track they are all at war with each other.

Stewart Macleod took top podium spot overall with a best time of 1.04.343, followed by Brian Bontekoning, Pieter de Vos and Tony Klem. For a moment during the second race Stewart reminded me of a lure used in greyhound racing—being chased by the rest of the pack until the chequered flag (in this case) was waved. Passing the chequered flag, his left hand raised victoriously as he waved at the motorsport photographers, confirming his race as well as series win—great one Stewart.

So, in this case, the bold black statement, don’t fool yourself fear kills, can be seen as an overrated statement, which needs no accentuation, or clinging too. Great fun is sometimes misunderstood for—FEAR! •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Pro Tour Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/10/13, 65 images) Main Image: Rodney McLachlan #42, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, Kawasaki ZX10R.