NAIROBI, September 16 – Reigning national 125cc champion Shivam Vinayak hopes to complete a rare hat-trick when the final round of the East Africa Motorcycle Union (AMU) brings together top regional riders at Jamhuri Park this Sunday.
The national team captain has had his Yamaha 250 four-stroke bike fine-tuned to high altitude settings and anticipates better reliability against the cream of the region’s best.
South African Clayton Enslin who was Shivam’s chief mechanic at the Motocross GP has made a number of changes to the bike to enable it master rigors of the East African terrain.
Shivam reckons that the exposure he has gained in South Africa has taken his riding skills to the next level.
“I feel much confident now. The bike’s handling also feels better and I can now keep up my speed and power. The position of the handle bar is gives me an edge to take corners with confidence. The suspensions settings have also been strengthened to help me take jumps more viciously and I am really psyched up,” he said.
Shivam reckons that the carburetor settings can hand him power to rival 450 four stroke machines.
“I saw it at the last round in Jamhuri Park. I was on Porter’s bumper for the better part and I believe it will be a flat out race in the East African AMU,” said Shivam. He is the only rider in Kenya who has won the championship series from 50cc to the 125cc class.
Shivam has also requested to be allowed to compete against the Open class riders once he is done with his 125cc specialty. “We will put a request to the organizers and see if I can test the new bike settings against the top speed power machines,” he said.
Kenyan riders swept the boards at the East Africa AMU first round event at Garuga racetrack in Entebbe in June .
The regional extravaganza, usually a prelude to the annual AMU Championship, however saw Uganda run away with the overall crown due to high entries. The hosts amassed 875 points against Kenya ‘s 524 points but had to contend with the blistering peace of the Kenyans who currently are the Africa Champions on the team category.
Kenyans were dominant in the 50cc which they beat their neighbors 111-30 on team honors, but narrowly lost 141-131 in the 65cc. Kenya’s captain Shivam Vinayak in a Yamaha 250 four-stroke bike won the 125 cc unchallenged and with a flawless score of 60 points after clinching all the three heats at stake. He was followed by Jack Evans of Uganda on 51.
Kenyans, however, struggled in the open class category with Ugandan Captain Assaf Nathan calling the shots. Moses Mugo (KTM 525) was 4th overall withj 41 while 2006 Enduro Champion Harry Guelker (KTM 525) came home fifth overall.