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Kihara, Vinayak, Kandie rule as Motocross enters second round

By Barry Silah
Monday, February 17th, 2020
Alex Kandie in full flight leaves Tai Wahome in his wake during round two of the Kenya National Motocross Championship at the Jamuhuri race track yesterday. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

It was full blown battle at Jamhuri Park yesterday as the Kenya National Motocross Championship entered the second phase.

Focus was on the bigger machines because of the competition between the seasoned riders in MX 1, MX 2 and MX 125 where the likes of Rolf Kihara, Alex Kandie and veteran Shivam Vinayak were squaring it up. 

On form Kihara, on his Husqurvana 250CC bike, was bold and daring with his manoeuvres in the different levels of the tricky track as he battled hard against the tough Kigen Kiplagat. 

The MX 2 had three riders on show with Maxine Wahome, the lone female rider, finishing third. Kihara and Kiplagat, who are well known to each other, had one of the closest challenges. 

However, Kiplagat was a tad slower on corners and at some point fell of the bike which enabled Kihara to run clear for the checkered flag after a daunting 12 laps in 18 minutes.

Returnees Rohan Gandhi and Vinayak were also in bullish mood in a real frenetic battle in the MX 1 category.

All on KTM bikes, former national champion Shivam took all the heats in comfortable fashion and twice had different runners up in the class from Walter Kuria and Rohan Gandhi as they battled against over 15 riders in the combined classes. 

Another returning rider Githuku Mungai came in fourth in what was a difficult afternoon for him and his team.

“The track was good but challenging. For me, it was enjoyable and I always wanted to win. The competition remains tricky because the younger riders are more hungry,” Vinayak told People Sport.

The MX 125CC saw fast-rising Kandie dominate with his composure on speed and overtakes against Wahome who was no mean challenger. 

The two riders were full on force and on many occasions nearly took each other out on the tracks.

The second heat was, however, tricky and disappointing for Wahome who finished sixth against the charging Dylan Mutahi who replaced him in second. 

Siblings Samwel and Peter Magwa also shone but found the going tough against the frontrunners.

In the MX 85CC and MX 65CC classes, Neo Wahome and Atete Benzinge were standout performers after winning all heats while Mathenge Kamundia claimed the honours in the MX 50CC.