Pieter De Vos #17
—He is not called the "Terrier" for nothing.
Graeme Van Breda #41
—Either Van Breda registers three DNFs, in the next two rounds, or Aliens abduct him (till after seven November), the same ones that took Sammy Hagar, for a celestial spin ...
Jaco Gous #43
—With diligence, Jaco might find himself in the top six before final curtain.
Michael Smit #49
—Outsider Michael Smit features more and more in the top six and this is great news, we need new blood in the top ranks, making the Kawasaki Masters series so much more enthralling.
Mike McSkimming #71
—Leading the Red Square superbike train.
Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters: the art of war (and other things)
Most times I write what comes to mind. I pick enthralling topics, and then just write about it. It gives me some sense of direction, something to work towards. Well, this time around I handled it differently. Initially I started off writing only one page (with no topic), then I wrote something totally different whilst lying in the bathtub, pencil and paper, can you believe that? Then, Tony "Babybird" Klem short-messaged me, informing me about the upcoming race meeting on television. Afterwards my whole direction changed. It left me with a narrow, yet insightful title: the art of war (and other things). As heat one and two rolls by hurriedly (on the HD screen), something else came to my attention; not all we see, carries the truth in plain sight ...
Back in late '60s, Hunter S. Thompson lived amongst the Hell's Angels of the American landscape. Penning their every breath, their awful habits ... Short afterwards he published a book about the lot. In some sense, his writing style had a big influence on my own. This genre is called—Gonzo journalism.
The "temple bell" on my smartphone ding dings, announcing another message. (Usually it is unsolicited messages from retailers thumbing you for an extra dime.) Slowly I pick up the dreaded device. To my surprise, it's Babybird, telling me the Kawasaki Masters are on at seven. The message read: "Won my first race in ZX10 Cup (followed by a smiley face), tonight SS8, 19h00, Tony Klem." Thumbing the TV remote to ON, I set a vital reminder on DSTV: SuperSport 8/Channel 208. This is one superbike meeting I don't want to miss. As a motorsport photographer, I don't always get the full picture. Through my Nikkor lens however I capture a different world from that of 2Wheels. My Nikon freezes every moment in a split second, moments that are cemented, eternally. They did an amazing job, covering every turn, every moment of forward momentum on video. (Wishing it was on YouTube too, the rest of South Africa needs to see this.)
The HJC helmet (and closed visor) muffles his rapturous coarse voice as he takes his first chequered flag, quickly deciding to raise his elated left hand, proclaiming his fantastic win (over Graeme Van Breda) to the masses of avid motorsport spectators. I guess he took the first confident drop out of the proverbial nest, launching his novice wings into a whole new world of competitive motorcycle racing ... Is the man up for it, chirp, chirp?
At the other end of this thunderous Kawasaki ZX10R spectrum, is Kyle Robinson. Within a few passing laps (of heat one), he strategically battled Graeme into a loathing second position. Proving to the many onlookers, that his true colours are finally back. Did he really take the nemesis out of Van Breda?
Dismally, the second round saw him leaving the track abruptly in the same manner as Pieter De Vos did in heat one. What happened? Lack of concentration? Only he will know.
Pieter De Vos started the season at an exceptional high, raising our hope of a year-end trophy, to such an extent that Van Breda became a vague wriggly figure in the mirage of exhaust heat, even before the first red lights have dropped. As the rounds progressed however, the Terrier went into a turbulent downward spiral, not resembling the same man we used to love and cheer and adore. The ribbon of black has detached its tentacles of vibrant energy, leaving the Terrier out in the abyss of despair ...
The hair on my neck suddenly shoots upright, a pocket of cold air encapsulates me, leaving me cold (even though the temperature outside is 32 degrees), there is a surge of energy right through my body, the incandescent light bulb, squints its tungsten filament a few times; it is then that I eerily realise that number-seventeen has tapped himself back into the motorsport we love so dearly ... With a 100 points still up for grabs, and Killarney as his favourite racetrack, I can faintly recognise the shimmer of a polished trophy.
He is not called the "Terrier" for nothing.
Graeme knows this too well. Either Van Breda registers three DNFs, in the next two rounds, or Aliens abduct him (till after seven November), the same ones that took Sammy Hagar, for a celestial spin ... but I doubt that. He will not take this hands down. I know it, Pieter knows it, even Kyle and bird boy. At the back of this wake lurk Johan Le Roux, Stuart Russell and Jaco Gous. They will capitalise on the spills, especially Johan.
He (Graeme) is an old hound, knowing every trick in the book, he will definitely ride very strategically, to drop the drooled over trophy in his Christmas bag; without much effort, he might be able to pull it off. Killarney could be the true decider of who will be crowned—Master of 2015.
Currently the points gap, between Van Breda and De Vos is 73, almost as wide as the Kali Gandaki Gorge, in Nepal. The top six are: Graeme Van Breda (320), Pieter De Vos (247), Kyle Robinson (227), Tony Klem (206), Johan Le Roux (122) and Stuart Russell (114); with only 10 points separating Jaco Gous (104) and Stuart. With diligence, Jaco might find himself in the top six before final curtain.
Since superbike racing happens so fast, these Kawasaki ZX10Rs, can easily clock up to 230 kph in short bursts, concentration, and a super fit facade, is of utmost importance.
Spectators are more than welcome to come meet the Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters at their rowdy garage, in slow motion; taking a few great selfies and posting it to Facebook. King of dispense, Mark Weitz, might even sport you a refreshing Red Square Reload, maybe a Crabbie's too.
With 19 Masters on the starting grid, what argument could you possibly put forward to stay at home. And here they are: Kyle Robinson, Graeme Van Breda, Ian Harwood, Hannes De Vos, Jaco Gous, Tony Klem, JB Schoeman, Pieter De Vos, Jason Joshua, Chris Marais, Peter Clark, Mike McSkimming, Johan Le Roux, Michael Smit, Stuart Russell, Abrie Marais, Sid Farinha, Raymond Keel and Sanjiv Singh.
Capetonians can look forward to a spectacular weekend of superb motorsport: 23 + 24 October (2015), at the well-known Killarney Raceway. Remember, practice day, the 23rd, is FREE to the public. Be a Friday Slacker, this is one foretaste that you don't want to miss. With the red lights ready to drop, the Extreme Festival is set to GO! To bolster the Red Square Kawasaki act, spectators can also look forward to the National Production Car series, the Engen Volkswagen Cup, Thunderbikes (600 +1000cc) ... With seven different motorsport categories spanning Killarney, YOU, better bring the whole family.
ADMISSION: Adults—R90; Students—R50; U12—FREE. (Click here to view the Google map)
On other trivial matters: Many will stand in disbelieve, but Terry Moss is still involved in motorsport after all these years, not as a racing driver, these days he owns a Audi motorsport outfit: Terry Moss Racing. Even though I would’ve liked to see him one more time behind the wheel of an Audi S4 GTO (YouTube: here and - here), I will most definitely settle for his book, hoping to see one soon.
Next week Thursday, I’m leaving the rat-race behind, that would be Pretoria, looking eagerly forward to my Killarney outing. This will be my first visit to this racetrack—wish you were here.
With my little suitcase packed: toothbrush, clean underwear, sun tan lotion. Hmmm, what else? I count the days in anticipation.
And as the flames lick the cool Cape Town night air, "skinny"
Michelin Bridgestone Star Chef, Hannes De Vos, will once again flip the best meat in town, and we will cast ourselves into an iced cold bottle of Red Square or some other intoxicating beverage, waking the genie, spending the granted three wishes on trifling matters. And I will look up at the stars, thinking ...
What has the art of war to do with my feature, you might ask? I guess not much. But what I saw the other night on DSTV, made me think (and I could be wrong): sometimes it is better to let go, to let fellow riders strip you of a vital win, taking the chequered flag, you so dearly need to fuel your own alter ego. With cement-dust layering almost the entire face of Zwartkops, Graeme has deployed the correct strategy. Maybe he had drawn inspiration from the book: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu (Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher).
Sometimes it is better to lose a battle; winning the war. False hope (and lack of vigilance), is sometimes the downfall of those who paste bumper stickers on their cars that read: "Fear Kills".
See you all at the next big one. —Godspeed! •
Stuart Russell #83
—Into the sunset: the brighter side of Stuart.
Peter Clark #64
—"Looking good in turn one.
Raymond Keel #33
—One morning not so long ago.
Ian Harwood #24
—TRP Distributors, keeping the Masters Bridgestoned to the racetrack.
Graeme Van Breda #41
—He is an old hound, knowing every trick in the book ...
Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, Zwartkops Raceway / Killarney Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2015/10/20.