David McFadden #69, Kawasaki ZX10R, Superbikes

Wesbank Super Series: How to catch a McFlash?

Man has always had an obsession with everything he laid his eyes on—if man saw land he wanted to conquer it, even if it meant war; if man saw the luring reflection of the moon in the water, he wanted to propel a rocket at it; or marvelled by the gravitational blue of the seven sees, he'll embark on an arduous voyage to discovery the depth and breadth of this wonderful planet. What fascinates mankind even more then the latter are mystical and elusive creatures like the Mothman, the Abominable Snowman (Yeti), Loch Ness Monster... and McFlash.

Nobody has actually seen McFlash. Closest anybody has ever come to experiencing this elusive rider of the race track is through David McFadden #69. Sometimes the truth is born out of assumptions, to be supported by facts afterwards. Once the tinted visor is lowered David McFadden presumably turns into McFlash; like Clark Kent turning into Superman once he removes his spectacles. It happens so fast that nobody has ever seen the lightning transition... Visor up—McFadden; visor down—McFlash. How will we ever know?

On Saturday thousands of enthusiastic motorsport fans headed west to Zwartkops Raceway for the Wesbank Super Series. This series is the prolific pinnacle on the motorsport racing calender and with it came all the exciting motorsport classes: SA Production Cars, Superbikes, Supersport 600, V8 Supercars, Formula Volkswagen, Engen Volswagen Cup...

On the starting-grid the competition lined up for heat one of the Superbike series: David McFadden #69, bringing his knee down on a Kawasaki ZX10R; Ryan Ottens #34, straddling a BMW S1000RR; Greg Gildenhuys #1 and Nicolas Grobler #22 (a.k.a. the Joker) both throttling BMW S1000RR superbikes and not forgetting Chris Leeson #99 on a Ducati Panigale 1199 and Stephen Steenkamp #11 (assisted by Stewart McLeod) on a Honda CBR1000RR.

Heat one did not deliver anything spectacular as David McFadden had to return to the pit complex with technical difficulties. This left the track open to the rest of the superbike-train, to race for podium positions. Many McFadden followers were left disgruntled after his early retirement—things do not always roll out as planned, but he will be back to tighten the screws on the superbike competition. The end result was a repeat of the previous regional race—Greg taking podium with Nicolas in second place.

Zwartkops Raceway has a 2.4km stretch, with fast straights and quick turns. These laddies were doing it in 61 seconds (best laps times)—trivial information for the masses.

Heat two, and David McFadden was back in full race gear, now even more determined to take podium. Well you have guessed correctly—he took the chequered flag.

The vexed question still remains—How to catch a McFlash? Well, there is no definite answer. I have contemplated about this for a long time. A quicker superbike might do the trick; more practice sessions might even bring you closer; sharper focus on race day might be the real answer. Maybe there is no McFlash, maybe he is just a conjured up image that lives in the mind of the superbike racer. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Wesbank Super Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/05/26, 154 images) Main Image: David McFadden #69, Kawasaki ZX10R, Superbikes.

Wesbank Super Series, Supersport 600.