After the excitement of recently inking a deal to ride in the factory Kawasaki MX1 squad for 2009, Swanepoel wanted to prove his worth in the backbreaking sand. He grabbed a reasonably good start in moto 1 and stayed out of trouble to emerge out of the Lierop forest in 11th spot but lost another place a lap later. ‘Swanie’ settled into a steady race rhythm and managed to claim back two positions to finish tenth at the end of a grueling 40 minutes.
The second moto would be a true test of fitness and determination for Swanepoel. He had a cracking start and seemed to be in with a hole-shot chance but got pushed wide in the first turn. As spectators anxiously waited for the pack to enter the arena, Swanepoel appeared in 7th. He kept his head down and only relinquished two positions to finish 9th by the end of the moto.
“I have good memories at this track and I have been focusing a lot on the sand lately so I’m pretty pleased with my result this weekend,” commented Swanepoel. “Coming back from such a long lay off is not easy especially in these rough and gnarly conditions so I am pumped to have scored two consistent results. No matter how hard you train the only way to know where your fitness is at, is to race, and although I expected to do better I am happy with my performance.”
The final and 3rd consecutive GP in a row will be held in Italy at the spectacular Faenza circuit next weekend. The Italian MX GP will see the crowning of both the MX1 and MX2 world champion and will be Swanepoel’s last appearance in the MX2 GP class as the South African makes the move to MX1 for 2009.