BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Phakisa, South Africa, 16/03/2016, South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship
The 2016 season of the South African SuperGP Champions Trophy (RSA SBK) began with a podium for the BMW S 1000 RR – and the champagne was flowing again after the weekend’s second round at the Phakisa Freeway. Lance Isaacs finished both races on the podium, making him the best of a strong contingent of 11 BMW riders. Thanks to the comprehensive support offered by BMW Motorrad South Africa, more South African riders than ever are competing on the RR this season.
Friday’s qualifying was the first clear indication that the BMW S 1000 RR was on course for the podium in Phakisa. Nicolas Grobler qualified third to take his place on the front row of the grid, with Isaacs on the second row in fourth place.
When the riders and teams returned to the circuit on Saturday morning, their first concern was that the race day would literally be a washout. Torrential rain had fallen on the track overnight. Even parts of the pit lane were flooded, and the ground was covered in mud in places. However, the entire paddock swung into action, reaching for their brooms and squeegees to clean up. And so the race was rescued – although it was shortened. In the meantime, the weather gods had decided to play ball and it remained dry.
Isaacs, who has been the most successful BMW rider in South Africa in recent years, raced with his sights set on a podium finish. And he set about achieving this goal in determined fashion. In race one, Isaacs spent the entire race embroiled in a battle with Yamaha rider Michael White, with the BMW man coming out on top. He came home third on the RR.
Isaacs then matched that result in race two. The ten-lap race witnessed a mighty battle for the third spot on the podium, which at times featured up to nine riders. Isaacs managed to get his nose ahead by the time they crossed the finish line, taking third place again – closely followed by fellow BMW rider Daryn Upton.
A host of BMW riders finished the two races in the top 15 and picked up valuable points. In race one, Grobler was the second best-placed RR rider in seventh, while Upton came home tenth. BMW privateers Garick Vlok, Ricky Lee Weare, Ronald Slamet and Justin Gillesen followed in positions 12 to 15.
Race two saw BMW riders occupy eight of the top 15 places: Isaacs and Upton were third and fourth. Vlok, Grobler and Weare followed in places nine to 11. Slamet, Gillesen and Etienne Nelson rounded off the top 15 in positions 13 to 15.