• February 22nd, 2020

Sternagel opens throttle for revived Moto-X champs

Donna Collins

SWAKOPMUND - The revival of the 2019 Moto-X Namibian Championships has opened the throttle on some fierce competition amongst the ‘big guns’ this year, in particular the unbeatable ‘King of the Dirt’ champ Mark Sternagel, who is flying high for a long-awaited title win. 
amibian Moto-X has not seen a championship event in eight years, so riders like Mark who want to take their racing more competitively this year, are able to push their limits to gain national status. 
The 23-year-old crack MX rider has been in the saddle for 20 years, and has clinched multiple accolades throughout his riding career, including the 2017/2018 Moto-X Club titles when he won a straight season. 
This year is going to be no different if all runs smoothly, except he’s putting his new KTM 450 SFX bike through its paces in the MX1 Class, which so far has won three club events and two national races held at Windhoek’s Gallina Moto-X track.
And with five more national races left to go, he’s gearing up for the next Windhoek  race day being held on Saturday, May 18,  which is expecting an exciting turnout of at least 60 riders in the eight different classes to tear up the dirt track. 
“I’m holding thumbs for another clean sweep this season, which has not yet been contested,”  said Sternagel, who maintains that keeping fit is one of the key elements of being a good rider.
“I practise as hard as I can, and follow  a strict diet as well as a pressing physical fitness regime in the gym,” added the champ, who had escaped to the coast last weekend to train on the internationally graded 1.7-kilometre Swakopmund MX track,  plus rode some riverbeds, to gain better bike control over the different terrain.
Bigger plans are in the pipeline however as Sternagel, who is also competing in some of the regional SA events where he runs in the top five, with the next one in August, aims to ride the German Moto-X circuit next year. 
There are eight classes competing for the 2019 Namibian Moto-X title, which includes the quad category. The 125cc Class is enjoying the biggest entries, which has become popular amongst the ‘rising stars’ and a nice stepping stone into the bigger classes.
Spokesperson from the Swakop MX Promoters committee, Mike Nederlof, said that there was a huge drive to revive the nationals again, as some of the guys want to race more competitively and gain title status. 
Nederlof was also instrumental in re-writing some of the rules for this year’s championship season under the auspices of the NMSF (Namibian Motorsport Federation).  He was also involved in rebuilding the Swakopmund Moto-X track which has staged the international two-day December event, attracting nearly 100 Moto-X riders to the start.
“We are also concentrating on growing the sport from the youth up, as it promotes a healthy lifestyle for our young boys and girls with a lot of family involvement,” said Nederlof, adding that participating ages competing in Moto-X vary from five years old to over-50 in the veterans class. 
Championship races will be held in Gobabis, Walvis Bay and Windhoek, with the major Swakopmund race to be held this year on December 19 and 20. 

Staff Reporter
2019-05-14 10:19:34 | 9 months ago

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