Samurai showdown

Team Samurais Samuel Lochoff has had a stellar introduction to racing at Killarney this season.

There’s a new two-wheeled team making waves out on the track in the form of Team Samurai. Samuel Lochoff and fellow rider Hayden Jonas have been making their mark at Killarney International Raceway and are now serious contenders for each of their respective national championship classes.

An up-and-coming talent, who has less than six months in the saddle and yet is still raking in the podium spots after finishing second in his debut, Lochoff had high expectations at Killarney last month when he jumped onto his KTM390 to take on the Cape Town leg of the DEOD Super GP Champions Trophy league, competing in the super junior class.

Affectionately called “Samurai Sam” by his teammates, Sam was raring to go but due to the team missing a deadline post qualifying, he was forced to start at the back of the grid. It ended up being quite the performance as Sam worked his way through a field of 10 other evenly-matched entrants and came from the back of the grid to win his first race of the day.

This challenge just brought the best out of him as he dominated both his races until falling on turn one with a commanding lead in his final race.

Teammate Hayden Jonas excelled in the Supersport 600 class, qualifying first on the grid. Hayden had a challenging start to race one – losing three positions going into turn one – and then managed to work his way through the leading bikes to win his race.

Samurai’s founder, Shane Lochoff, Samuel’s father, started the team with a vision to support a young new rider’s dream to one day compete at the highest international level.

“When Sammy started hitting lap records just three months after his first time on a track, we soon realised he had something special. He has shown incredible natural talent and when you add his calm, focused demeanour and total lack of fear, it becomes clear that he was born to race bikes. The decision to support his motor racing career and give him the right platform was a no-brainer,” he said.

“We looked at the local Cape Town racing scene and the level of talent and passion for the sport that exists right here on our doorstep is truly inspiring. We soon realised that, if given a professional platform, many of the experienced riders really do have what it takes to do very well on a national level.”

It seems the approach has worked as Team Samurai now represents some of the most talented local riders in the country with Sam Lochoff and Jason Linekar each on the KTM390, Hayden Jonas (Kawasaki ZX6R) and Wesley Jones (Yamaha R6) and Gerrit Visser, on the Yamaha R1.

“In Sammy, We have a serious candidate for an international campaigner. Many of the seasoned riders, when they see his progress, say that he ticks all the boxes. Hayden, now that he has this solid team structure, is also a serious contender for the championship and we are very excited to be part of Team Samurai” said Lance Jonas, Hayden’s father.

Brad Binder’s recent success on the global racing scene in Moto 3 has been motivating for these young talents and when hearing Brad’s story in Cape Town this January, Sam Lochoff took away true belief that it can be done with passion, support and commitment.

Samurai as a team are enjoying a number of firsts.

In a period of six weeks they have produced sponsor videos, branded clothing and multiple race wins.

To follow the team’s journey, find them on Facebook and show your support for what could be a very successful 2017 campaign.

throughout the course of 2017.