BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Phakisa Freeway, South Africa, 25/03/2015, South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship
South Africa’s national SuperGP Champions Trophy celebrated the kick-start of its season at the Phakisa Freeway. BMW Motorrad brand ambassador Lance Isaacs brought his BMW S 1000 RR home and onto the podium twice, earning finishes of third and a second place respectively. Nicholas Kershaw celebrated a second place on the rostrum in the first race and took fourth in the evening run.
Sunday saw the first event of the South African SuperGP Champions Trophy take place at the Phakisa Freeway. There will be seven rounds in total in 2015. Lance Isaacs, BMW Motorrad brand ambassador for South Africa, had a successful start to his campaign.
Saturday’s practice sessions were hindered by rain in parts and Isaacs only got 15 dry laps under his belt. “Due to the rain we were limited on track time, but we were able to work through many settings of the new BMW S 1000 RR”, he said on Saturday evening. “In the morning we started from scratch but were able to make many improvements throughout the course of the day. There are still a lot of secrets to discover about this magnificent machine. Tomorrow is the day, then we are going to have the Qualifying, the SuperPole and two races.”
Sunday’s action was also affected by the weather. The track stayed dry all day but there were permanent spots of rain – not ideal conditions for pushing to the limit.
Isaacs got onto the front row in the SuperPole and earned third spot on the starting grid. He admitted it wasn’t a “great lap” but was “satisfied with the podium in sight.”
He came good on that prediction. In the first race Isaacs achieved a heroic third place on the rostrum. It was a masterful ride as the gearshift lever broke early in the race. “I was down to fifth”, the South African commented. “But as soon as I got myself comfortable with this and started to work with the shifting situation, I was able to attack again and got back to third.”
The second race, held in the early evening, delivered P2. “We all are very, very happy”, he said. “Last year we got a fourth and fifth for the start of the championship, now we have two rostrums already. That is clearly an improvement for us. The support of the HP Race Support helped a lot to get the setting of the bike suitable for me.”
Nicholas Kershaw, riding for the Tsunami Beach Bar BMW S 1000 RR Racing Team, has stepped up to the South African premier class in 2015 and had a great debut race. In the SuperPole he earned P5 and was able to make up further ground in the races.
Kershaw took the chequered flag in second position in race one, behind the reigning champion and race winner Clint Seller. The second race brought him a fourth-place result. “I am very satisfied with our season opener”, he commented. “New bike, new category, second in the first race and third overall today. A big thank you goes out to everyone who supports me and helped in bringing it all together. We have a lot of work in front of us, but I am curious to see what will be.”
BMW Motorrad Motorsport Technical Director Berthold Hauser said: “From my point of view the team of Lance Isaacs still has some work to do on their bike, and they simply ran out of time before the first race. Our Race Support was able to give them useful hints on the suspension side. The South African SuperGP Champions Trophy only allows the use of the homologated stock suspension and no other components. The standard suspension of the BMW S 1000 RR is very good and offers many set-up possibilities, but the right set-up for Lance will require some more time. We already gave the team some ideas on how to use the electronic suspension of the double R properly. Now they are preparing for the second round of the championship already.”