NAIROBI, JULY 15 – Kenya’s top two motorcross riders Shivam Vinayak and Tom Porter will compete in this weekend’s World Motocross Championship round in South Africa.
The two-man team linked up with Africa Motocross Union (AMU) champion Ryan Hunt who is the team leader a week ago and have been going through the paces in acclimatizing with the racing conditions which will mainly consist of very sandy tracks.
Vinayak who emerged victorious in a regional championship in Uganda last month is confident they have prepared adequately for the world championship.
“Tom and I went down to Mombasa and we practiced really hard on the sand and those are the conditions we expect in South Africa. So the training in Mombasa has really helped us adapt to the conditions here in South Africa,” said Vinayak.
Speaking ahead of the championship that attracts global attention, Porter was happy with the return of Hunt to support the Kenyan team.
“Hunt has been a huge help to the team in the past as well as the present. He has helped us in training since 2003 and Shivam and I are spending a week with him doing a bit of training,” he said
Porter added that he will not be affected by pressure of riding with top riders from all over the world.
“I will focus on what I am there to do and not worry about pressure from anybody. I put enough pressure on myself as it is and I think that’s enough,” he said.
The team was handed the national flag by Sports Minister Helen Sambili who lauded the sports’ progress in the country.
“Indeed, it was quite encouraging for the 65cc AMU Kenya team to achieve an unprecedented clean-sweep with daredevil Davide Bernardi leading Ivan Guya and Adil Khan to a 1-2-3 finish. On behalf of the Sports Ministry, I wish to congratulate the motocross team for this historic milestone,” said Sambili.
The Kenya team is taking part in the event for the second time after the first pair of Anthony Nielsen and Doungu Smith received wildcards to the 2006 event.
Also in the team this year is 3 time national motorcross champion Anthony Nielsen- who is accompanying the team as a non-riding captain. Nielsen was the first ever rider from Kenya to score points at the GPis Cross Country Challenge Commission chairperson.
Others include Ann Troungton and veteran off-road biker and rally ace Ian Duncan on the support management team.
The 2008 South African Motocross Grand Prix is the 10th round of the 2008 FIM Motocross World Championship Mx1 & Mx 2.