ZIMBABWE’S junior motocross champion rider, Emmanuel Bako, edged closer to claiming the 85cc Pro Mini Class title.
He stormed to victory in the penultimate round of the seven-round 2021 South African National Championship series in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The highly-anticipated event was hosted by BORC, a track that offers high speeds and big jumps that got every rider’s adrenaline pumping.
And, the highlight of the day was the monumental battle for the lead between Bako and his two South African rivals, Neil van der Vyver and Ryan Adler.
Bako was just a ball of fire on Saturday, turning the race into a one-man show, as he won both heats convincingly, to emerge as the overall winner of the 85cc Pro Mini Class, collecting the maximum 50 points.
A repeat performance, and another maximum 50 points, during the last round of the South African Nationals at Legends in Gauteng on November 20, will see Bako being crowned the 2021 85cc Pro Mini Class Champion, for the first time in his career.
Fresh from his victory in round four of the Bogwheelers Club National Championship series at Donnybrook Park Raceway in Harare three weeks ago, the victory on Saturday comes especially sweet for the 14-year-old Zimbabwean rider, who showed the 85cc Pro Mini Class, which had a strong field of 16 riders, he was the boss.
After spending close to three weeks with no practice, the irresistible Bako, who was racing in front of his adoring South African fans, for the first time this season, after spectators were recently allowed to watch live sports in that country, surprisingly took both hole shots and never looked back as he produced some smooth riding and was quite faster than expected.
His 2021 Husqvarna was just unstoppable in both heats as van der Vyver and Adler struggled to keep pace with him.
Van der Vyver was forced to settle for second place while Adler took the third step on the podium at the end of business on Saturday.
This was Bako’s first outright victory in the South African Nationals this season.
His father and manager, Brighton, could not hide his excitement.
“After having played second fiddle to his rivals in the opening rounds of the South African National Championship series this year, Emmanuel was really pumped up at BORC,’’ Brighton said.
“He was determined to take the first step on the podium, which he did in style, with a clean sweep for the maximum 50 points.
“And, we would like to thank his coach Tyron Juul, his bike mechanic Peter Raaf.
“He did some awesome work and time on Emmanuel’s bike.
“We would also like to thank his sponsors Better Brands Jewellery and Fuchs Silkolene Zimbabwe for their continued support.
“Without their support, this wouldn’t even be possible (to race in South Africa this year).
“We are now looking forward to the next race in the South African Nationals at Legends on November 20 where another overall win will secure Emmanuel the 2021 85cc Pro Mini Class title in South Africa.’’