Just like that, the penultimate round of the National Motocross Series has arrived. The nail-biting race for championship titles has come right down to the wire with both the MX1 and MX2 title still open to a highly-competitive group of riders. It’s a crucial stop on the calendar for Red Bull KTM, who are on the hunt for two national titles.
Flying the orange flag in the prestigious MX1 Class is Tristan Purdon, who is a mere three points away from the top step of the podium. The rider was off to a shaky start this season as he battled to overcome a lingering wrist injury. Having put that behind him, Purdon ran riot over Pietermaritzburg last month when he went 1-1 to snatch victory overall.
The Welkom event comes at arguably the most crucial point of the series for Purdon as takes his last shot at stepping into the championship lead before the final.
Take one look at the MX2 Class and it’s clear that motocross fans are in for an epic Free State showdown this weekend. In a battle between the orange brothers, Red Bull KTM’s Josh Mlimi and Kerim Fitz-Gerald are preparing to go to war.
While the riders are united in their quest to bump Anthony Raynard off the MX2 throne, the unspoken question on every KTM fan’s lips is which teammate will come out on top.
Another rider to look out for is Nate McLellan, who will be looking to tap into new gears as he attempts to defend his spot on the Pro Mini podium. With the championship title out of reach, his focus will be on widening the uncomfortably close 15-point lead he has on Dylan Kirk, who is lurking behind him in fourth place.
As KTM’s Managing Director Franziska Brandl explains, the only objective that matters at this stage of the season is to finish strong: “The championship is so tight, and from what we’ve seen in the past the riders with the most experience shine the brightest at this point of the series. We believe this round will pretty much decide how the year is going to end,” she said.