Motocross in Namibia (The big Race)

The big race against South Africa’s Zone 7 racing club was as much, if not more fun than we all anticipated.

12 riders from South Africa, 9 Bikes and 3 Quads, signed up for the race on Saturday. Most of the bikes rode in the A and B class, however there was 2 riders in the C class who I raced against. One of whom was a 14 year old rider with an 85cc bike, despite the age difference and bike size difference the young rider gave the rest of us quite a run for our money.

The main event of the day however was the A class race. More specifically the battle between our best rider and the South African best rider. Jaws dropped and knees shook when the two of them battled it out, overtaking one another time and time again. At the end of the day our rider won the overall position, but merely by a second or two.

The two Quadbike riders that came to race also gave our champion a run for his money but at the end he to was able to take the win. I have to take my hat off for the South Africans however, not practicing on our track before and then doing as well as they did is truly very impressive. If they had the chance to practice once or twice the outcome of the races would most probably have been different.

All together the event was loads of adrenaline filled fun with great music and even better company. The South African riders along with our riders all want to make this an annual event. I personally hope and pray that they do make this a yearly event, the fun we all had was beyond comprehension.

Motocross in Namibia (New Bike Test Ride)

During the course of last week the Yamaha dealership in Windhoek reached out to a bunch of riders, asking them to test ride a few of the new bikes they shipped in and to give a short review about what they experienced.

I was lucky enough to be one of the chosen riders. Pure excitement rushed through my veins as I was busy reading the message. The thought of being chosen to ride and review one of the brand new bikes in stock had my heart pounding and I could not wait for the weekend to roll around. As Saturday drew near I grew more and more excited and finally it was time to head to the track.

When I arrived some of the other chosen riders was already there and others was still on their way. When we were all there the guys from Yamaha gave us a short speech and a few rules. When we were all “briefed” the moment I have been waiting for all week was finally here. It was very apparent that I was not the only one more than eager to get riding. All the riders rushed to put on their kits (riding gear) and get on their bikes. We were 4 riders in total, each testing a different bike.

The rest of the day was spent riding and having fun, I constantly had to remind myself that “this is not my bike, so please don’t break it”. I also had to remember to test the bike and not only enjoy it. However, the bike was amazing to say the very least, the speed, steering, weight, torque   everything was beyond anything I ever rode before.

A silent tear was shed when it was finally time to hand back the bike at the end of the day. Non the less it was great fun and an experience I will not easily forget. I wrote a positive, yet still honest, review and sent it to Yamaha, who were pleased to hear that I enjoyed the bike. 

The whole experience was very exciting and a heap of fun, I truly hope I get the chance again in the future.

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Yamaha, Windhoek

 

Motocross in Namibia (Private practice session)

Last weekend my “riding squad” (basically just me, my father and my best friend) had the entire Gallina Motocross track to ourselves.

This weekend on Saturday there was an Enduro event that took place outside of town. Many of the riders either went to participate in the event, or they just went along for the event itself. This along with the fact that we only went to practice quite late in the afternoon, as apposed to early in the morning like we usually do, meant that when we got there we were the only people at the track.

At first we thought that we came to late and that practice was over, but a quick phone call later we were pleased to hear that it was not closed just empty.

We offloaded the 3 bikes and started practice. Since we were alone we had the chance to practice and perfect indevidaul jumps and corners over and over. My friend and I also had a friendly competition, the loser was to wash the bikes when we got home after. However, me being the nice friend that I am, did not just sit and watch him wash the bikes on his own.

All in all it was a great day and an opportunity not likely to come around  again soon.

Motocross in Namibia (Awesome race day)

No matter how much one trains and prepares for a race, one always wakes up with a ton of butterflies is one’s stomach.

The weekend that just passed (8th of June), was the 5th leg/race of the Gallina Motocross season. The day started relatively early just as any other race day, we arrived at the track about half past 6 and the pit areas was already buzzing with not only the sound of the people but the sounds of the bikes. We offloaded the bikes and set up everything to be ready once practice started.

Practice started at half past 7, all the classes had a chance to take a few laps around the track to warm up themselves and the bikes. After practice was done all the riders sat down for the “riders briefing” where they once again tell us the same rules as all the times before.

And at last ,after what seamed like an eternity, it was time for the races to start. First off it was the A class riders then B and then C, this is where I ride, and after us it is the D class and then the quads. It is always breathtaking to watch the A class riders race, the level of skill they show on the track is something I can’t put into words.

Finally it was time to head to the starting gates and line up for the race. It is hard to put into words the feelings rushing through one when lining up at the gates. It is a mixture of both excitement and terror, and then when the gates finally drops it’s as if the adrenaline just pushes everything aside. The second that those gates drop and the 15+ riders all gun it for the first corner is the most terrifying yet exciting moment of the entire race. I’m shaking just thinking about it.

All in all it was a pretty good race and even though I did not manage to win, I did get a 4th place in the first race. All the more reason to practice a bit harder and push just that little bit more.

The day however did not go as smoothly for everybody. One of the quad riders fell on the very last lap and broke his thumb, this has to be a quad riders worst nightmare as one is then unable to continue riding until it heals.

The second round of races was equally as fun. However, I crashed in one of the corners, luckily I didn’t get hurt, but it cost me valuable time and I only finished 6th.

The whole day was a blast, The food was good and as was the music, and as always the entertainment was to die for.

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Motocross in Namibia (S.A. vs Nam, round two)

Last week some of our riders toured down to Cape Town for a race against the South Africans, now it is their turn to come to us.

The Zone 7 club enjoyed having our riders there so much that they proposed that we have another race but this time they will come to us. The race will be held on the 8th of July at the Galina Motocross track outside of Windhoek Namibia. It will be an amazing event filled with adrenaline pumping action sure to get even the spectators’ blood pumping.

All the Namibian riders are very excited about the event, it is safe to say that all of the riders will ride like never before to show the visitors what we are capable of. This time we have the home track advantage, this does not mean much since anything can and will most certainly happen.

The riders along with the management hopes to make this a annual event, where each country sends riders to the other for a friendly, yet still competitive, race. I think an event like this benefits everybody as it pushes all of us just a little bit more to go a little faster while at the same time trying to stay on the bike.

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Motocross in Namibia (Last Practice Before Race)

This weekend was the last time we were able to practice before next Saturdays race, and to put the cherry on top of the cake practice only lasted until 1 o’clock.

Since it has been a month ago that the track received any form of maintenance, the last practice before the next race is always the worst. It is not only extra strenuous on your body but the chances for a crash is much likelier. Unlike on the race day where the track is nice and wet and “smooth”, this weekend it was rough and the wet dirt has been replaced with soft “tyre grabbing” sand. We call it “tyre grabbing” sand because when you ride through it (especially in the corners) ones front wheel has the tendency to get stuck in the thick sand and then if you are unlucky you hug the ground very hard.

However, the way I look at it is that by practising in the bad track conditions it only prepares you more, and then when you ride on the nice fixed track it is much easier and it boosts your lap time. So it may be very bad but it prepares you for the race day.

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Practice was unfortunately cut short due to the maintenance people showing up at 1 o’clock to fix and prep the track for next week. All the riders left after that, however me, my father, my uncle and a few other people stayed behind to help with the watering of the track. We sprayed water on the jumps and corners that they finished fixing to give the soil a bit of stability and harden it. The track will be wet properly again one day before the race as well as during the race day, to give the riders more grip as well as remove the dust that the bikes kick up.

The water that we use to wet the track we get from a nearby river that runs all year long. We pump the water from the river into the the water tanks on the trucks and then we spray it onto the track.

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A quite unusual practice day but fun non the less.

Motocross In Namibia (Track Change)

Big news hit the motocross community this week as we found out that the Gallina Motocross track outside of Windhoek has been updated and underwent some changes.

The last time that the track was changed was about 3 years ago. The reasoning behind the changes in 2014 was due to many injuries that occurred, especially from less-experienced / younger riders within certain areas of the old track.  They removed the “danger zones” and we all found that the updated track was challenging and took a bit of getting used to. However, the over-all feel of the changed track was very positive and riders quickly adapted to the new track-layout.

This week the track was updated again.  For a layman to understand the amount of though and planning that goes into these changes is not easy to comprehend.  For example –  the riders know from hand-on experience the the previous track had 7 right-handed turns and only 2 left-handed turns.  Therefore the new track layout was planned so that it has 7 right-hand turns and 5 left-handed turns, It was also changed just for a renewed feel and something different, to spruce it up a bit.  This weekend at practise, me along with the rest of the riders was first to experience the changes that the track underwent.  I strongly feel that this new layout will surely test me as well as the other riders in upcoming and future events.  These changes will definitely guarantee renewed excitement for both the riders and the supporters.

I believe I speak for all the riders when I say that I’m very excited about the new changes and I can’t wait to see what types of challenges as well as fun it brings in future.

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Old Track Layout
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New Track Layout