MIXED RESULTS FOR RED BULL
KTM RACERS AT SEASON OPENER
24 February 2017
by KTM South Africa.
Published with Permission.
Fitz-Gerald (# 108) © Eric Palmer /
Port Elizabeth hosted the first round of the Monster Energy
National MX Series. The event drew big numbers in every
class. This, combined with a challenging track, made for
some exciting racing all round.
The Red Bull KTM team entered the event with high hopes
but a few mishaps cost them dearly and they now look ahead
to Round 2 for redemption and to capitalise on their pre-season
In the MX 85 Juniors class, youngster Nate McLellan had
a solid day and fought all the way from the back in both
Motos to finish runner-up twice, which secured him second
Mc Lellan (# 1) © Eric Palmer / Afreakin
The Pro Mini class saw Red Bull KTMs Camden McLellan
and Jono Mlimi both finish on the podium. McLellan had two
disappointing starts, riding from second last to impressively
take both wins by over 15 seconds. He delivered two flawless
rides and raised his hand as the man to beat for the 2017
season. Mlimi managed a fourth in Moto 1, but after some
motivation in the pits he managed to grab the hole shot
in Moto 2 and ended up finishing second, placing him third
In MX 2, reigning champion Kerim Fitz-Gerald got off to
a horrid start, going down hard while fighting for fourth
place and was unable to finish Moto 1 due to damaging his
wrist. His trainer had to strap the injured wrist for the
following Moto to try and salvage some points. A courageous
Fitz-Gerald managed to finish fifth in Moto 2.
MX 2 rider Joshua Mlimi had a dismal Moto 1 finishing 9th.
Moto 2 he came out firing and held his own charging right
behind the top 5 guys finishing in 7th for 7th overall.
In MX 1, new addition to the team, Ross Branch, better
known for his off-road cross-country exploits, delivered
a strong performance. While lying fifth in Moto 1 he was
thrown over the handlebars, which saw him eventually finish
seventh. He led Moto 2 initially but a few costly mistakes
pushed him back into fifth place for a combined sixth overall.
Also in MX 1, Moto 1 saw Kerim going down in the 1st lap
and making his way from last to 6th still setting some of
the fastest lap times of the race in the late stages. Moto
2 the team was not sure if Kerim was going to be riding
after his injury. It was damage control and he managed a
fighting 6th for 7th overall on the day.
It is back to the drawing board for the Red Bull KTM squad
but they are still upbeat about their early season form
and are optimistic ahead of the next round on 8 April at
Zone 7 in Cape Town.