Greg Gildenhuys, who set the South African Superbike championship alight last year in his debut season of racing the BMW S 1000 RR, powered to back-to-back victories at the Killarney circuit in Cape Town during round two of the 2011 series on Saturday 2 April.
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 S 1000 RR. 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.
As is usually the case, the titanic battle between the top two Superbike racers in the country, ably supported by a closely-matched rest of the field, provided the best entertainment of the day at a well-attended race meeting in the shadow of Table Mountain.
Gildenhuys gave early notice of his intentions by achieving 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 chequered 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 chequered flag by the closest of margins. The Kawasaki rider actually went ahead of Gildenhuys briefly on lap eight as they encountered backmarkers, but the big man was back in front under braking at the end of the back straight.
The two riders showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field in both races, finishing seven seconds clear 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 S 1000 RR 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.
Photos by dvj@motorpic