The hills of Jolivet won’t be the only verdant green highlights when that KwaZulu Natal scenery comes alive to the sounds of the 2021 South African Cross Country Moto Championship opener Saturday 27 February. That’s because it’s also a huge day for Kawasaki, when those famous green XC machines return to the national level racing fray for the first time in several decades.
Six all-new Pepson Plastics Kawasaki South Africa racing with Motul entered KX XCs will come under starters orders at Jolivet. And if the past weekend’s Rustenburg, Gauteng regional opener was anything to go by, the green machines can be expected be right in the thick of the action from the get-go.
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul OR3 class duo Taki Bogiages and Kyle MacKenzie will want to go a couple better following a brilliant debut in Rustenburg last week. The two KX250XC riders came home third and fourth in that super competitive class. “Our Kawasakis proved a bit of a surprise at the regional," Bogiages admitted. “Now we're ready to do the team proud in our first National.” MacKenzie added: “Kawasaki is back in town — watch this space!”
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul open class OR1 riders D'artagnan Lobjoit and Craig Alcock also enjoyed a great outing in the regional and both are champing at the bit to race their KX450XCs at National level. “I had a great run to fourth in Rustenburg,” D’artagnan explained. “We've worked hard to get there and we are ready for the national — I can’t wait.” Alcock added: “I truly love racing my KX450XC — I just can't wait for Jolivet!”
Circuit car race fans will recognise Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing’s Senior rider Lee Thompson’s name. “I had a great run to fourth in Rustenburg and I’m now getting to grips with my KX250XC. “We are ready for Jolivet.” Team principal and Masters rider Iain Pepper will sit Jolivet out with a hurt shoulder, but Senior rider Achim Bergmann will race his machine in KZN. “I am truly thankful for this opportunity — I’m over the moon,” Achim admitted.
“We are delighted to be able to bring Kawasaki Motorcycles South Africa back to National Cross Country racing,” Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing team principal Iain Pepper concluded. “We had some great results in our regional dress rehearsal last week, but now the real race begins. “We’d like to once again thank Chris and Kibble from KMSA for putting their faith in us and we look forward to flying that Kawasaki flag high in Cross Country Racing."
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul races with Bikewise, Pirelli tyres, Arai helmets, Renthal handlebars, Acerbis plastics, DID chains and SBS brakes. Its riders are protected by Fasthouse SA clothing and they are kept in top form by Margie Smith Training. The Green Team races Kawasaki’s brand new bespoke 2021 KX250XC and KX450XCs cross country racers based on its ’21 KX motocross machines.
Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul Racing will rekindle Kawasaki's rich Cross Country Racing history that saw legends, the likes of Alfie Cox, Neil Woolridge, Chris Brand and others riding the green machines to many a race win and championship over the years.