BMW First and Third in Both South African Superbike Races

BMW First and Third in Both South African Superbike Races

Greg Gildenhuys, who found success last year in his debut season in the South African Superbike championship, won back-to-back victories aboard his BMW S1000RR at the Killarney circuit in Cape Town during round two of the 2011 series.

At the season opener in Kyalami four weeks ago it was former national champion Sheridan Morais on a Kawasaki who took both wins, closely followed by Gildenhuys on the new BMW Motorrad Motorsport-backed S1000RR. Last weekend it was the turn of the 21-year-old former national Supersport champion from Boskruin in Gauteng to grab the glory as he muscled the powerful RR around the tight and technical 3,267-km Killarney circuit. He beat Morais by 0.7 seconds in race one and 0.07 seconds in race two. Furthermore, Gildenhuys’ double victory made it four wins out of four at the Cape Town circuit, as he also won both races the last time the South African Superbike championship visited Killarney in October last year.

Greg Gildenhuys on his way to back-to-back victories at the Killarney circuit in Cape Town. Photos by dvj@motorpics.

Gildenhuys gave early notice of his intentions by achieving the pole position for both races after dominating qualifying. But it was the diminutive Morais who launched himself off the line first at the start of each race, with the lanky Gildenhuys getting away slowly on both occasions. It didn’t take the BMW rider long to catch up with his Kawasaki-mounted rival and he out-braked Morais at the end of the back straight on lap six of the opening 10-lapper and then resisted Morais’ best efforts to pass him back, right to the checkered flag.

Race two was a repeat of the first, with Gildenhuys already up to second by the end of the first lap after another tardy start. This time the battle was closer with the BMW rider taking the lead on lap five and holding off Morais to the finish by the closest of margins. The Kawasaki rider actually went ahead of Gildenhuys briefly on lap eight as they encountered slower riders, but the big man was back in front under braking at the end of the back straight.

The 21-year-old is one of the favorites for the 2011 South African Superbike Championship on his RR.

The two riders were well ahead of the rest of the field in both races, finishing seven seconds ahead in race one and three seconds ahead of the chasing pack in race two. Third on both occasions was KwaZulu-Natal’s James Egan in his debut race on a S1000RR backed by Thundersport and Hillcrest BMW dealer Ryder Motorrad.

Nicholas Grobler (Jonway BMW) was sixth in race one and fifth in race two, while Jonathan Willcox (Willcox Customs Consulting BMW) was seventh in race one and sixth in race two.

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