Motoring Nigeria was at the 2015 Nigeria Superbike Road Race & Ultimate Bike Girl Nigeria Pageant in Benin. Read their report.
So the 2015 edition of Nigeria’s Superbike Road Race has come and gone. Motoring Nigeria was present to cover every single bit of the event which was a grand success and of course a significant improvement compared to last year’s event. It was an exhilarating weekend for all those who attended the event as everybody got their own excess dose of adrenaline.
Friday 27th of November, 2015 was the date slated for arrival at Motel Bellisima in the ancient city of Benin, Edo state. On that day, Nigerians witnessed the presence of superbikers on various highways as they made their way to Benin City from all over the country. The following Saturday morning, 28th of November, 2015, (Race day!) was quite unique as everyone woke up feeling all energetic and ready to race (or watch) but before that, we first had to travel about 1.5 hours from Benin City through the Benin-Asaba expressway to the race location – Urhonigbe, Edo State.
On our arrival at Urhonighe, we were welcomed by the sheer serenity of the area. We knew we were in a whole different environment as the children, women and men lined up the smooth virgin asphalt welcoming us with smiles and waving at us till we got to the race venue.
Riding to the venue, it was clear that the organisers had found a 32km stretch of road that was “perfect” for a street race course and had obtained the approval of the Government of Edo State to shut down the road for the purpose of the race. It is a 32 km stretch of smooth track like asphalt surface, with long straights where the racers could easily hit above 290km/hr and sharp, slow and fast curves that test the braking and cornering ability of the racers. It was clear we were in for a racing treat.
This year also saw the presence of two global power brands in motorsport in attendance – Red Bull and Yamaha Racing.
The event started with a few practice laps for bikers who wanted to get accustomed to the beautiful curves the road had to offer. The practice laps were followed by a dance presentation which sort of snowballed into a competition (who knew bikers could dance). This was followed by the introduction of the contestants for the Ultimate Bike Girl Nigeria Pageant and occasional drone performances by the drone pilot who was supposed to be using the drone to video the event, but hey, its okay because the villagers liked it and I know that because they never stopped waving at the drone!
After all these, the race began, with up to 40 contestants covering the 32km route each. Male and female winners emerged in both the 600cc (capacity) and 1000cc categories. Jack Affara who won last year’s race also clinched the first position in The BT Championship 1000cc Category this year covering 32km in 10 mins 28 seconds, second position went to Ahmed Alpacino who covered 32km in 10 mins 42 seconds and the third position went to Mohammed (Mo Ducati) who covered 32km in 10mins 54seconds.
The female winners were Oreoluwa O (15mins 23seconds), Jeminat O (15mins 31seconds) and Kelly J (16mins 40seconds).
The above 1000cc Category winners were Argo R (10mins 11seconds), Ini R (10mins 57seconds) and Darlinton (11mins 1second). After the race, we proceeded to the finish line at Ugbokirima where trophies were awarded to the winners.
After all said and done, we again hit the highway for the ride back to Benin where some people chilled and others decided to cool off by swimming at the hotel pool. Then came evening time and that signalled the beginning of the Ultimate Bike Girl Nigeria Pageant at Hexagon Hotel, Benin City where Onyinye O emerged as the winner – Ultimate Bike Girl Nigeria.
To spice up the evening, a car raffle draw was held and was won by Oreoluwa O who went home with a brand new Kia Picanto.
Sunday the 29th of November, 2015 was departure day and we prepared for the hard ride back to base.
I have attended some motorsport events in Nigeria and this stands as the most memorable. I say kudos to the organizers for striving to introduce genuine motorsport to Nigeria, even though there is still great room for improvement. This was serious racing!
As with all races, there is the likelihood of crashes. In this year’s event, there were about seven crashes. Most of the crashes happening at a famous high speed right turn curve. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries and all the racers are back home and well and already planning for next years event which comes up again on the 26th of November, 2016. Going by the successes achieved at this year’s event, it will be correct to say that motorsport, superbike racing, has taken off in Nigeria.
If you pump RED, like me, don’t miss next year’s event.