Ugandan Riders Set for Africa Test in South Africa

Ugandan Junior riders at the Garuga Racing track in Entebbe | Image by Innocent Mutaawe

2023 MXOAN Ugandan Riders Set for Africa Test in South Africa

Shafic Kiyaga 15:00 - 08.08.2023

Uganda is among 11 countries ready to demonstrate their prowess on the motocross tracks, making this a significant event for the Ugandan team.

Adrenaline is building up as Uganda gears up to compete in the esteemed 2023 Motorcross of African Nations (MXOAN) event.

Hosted by Motorsport South Africa at Cape Town's renowned zone 7 track, this grand showcase is set for 11th-13th August 2023.

Uganda's representation is nothing short of impressive with 34 riders flagged off, eager to tackle the challenge and cement their place among Africa's motocross elite.

Uganda is among 11 countries ready to demonstrate their prowess on the motocross tracks, making this a significant event for the Ugandan team.

The MXOAN promises global exposure, with Ugandan riders set to challenge and test their mettle against some of the finest talents across the African continent.

Riders in the MX1 25 led by Walid Omar (Bike 6), Apollo Milton Obote Akaki (Bike 8) and Mubarak Ssenoga Mayanja (Bike 34) at the FIM Central Africa Motocross MX1 Challenge at Busika on Easter Sunday | Pulse Sports Image

The morning's send-off ceremony at the National Council of Sports offices in Kampala was charged with excitement and anticipation.

As the team embarks on their journey, the focus is undeniably on the Katende brothers: Johnathan and Miguel.

The Katende Brothers: From World Championships to African Battlefields

Their debut at the World Junior MX Championships in Budapest, Romania, has kept the Katende brothers in the limelight.

Having made history as the first Ugandans to compete at such a prestigious event, their journey, though challenging, was marked with valuable lessons.

With Jonathan finishing at 33rd and Miguel at 28th in the initial qualifiers, the stakes were high during the final qualification heat.

Miguel Katende | Photo by John Batanudde

Miguel's determination saw him finish as the third-best African rider, a commendable feat considering the competition.

Joining them on the track is their sister, Abigail Katende, who will be competing in the 50cc (peewee) class, along with Abigail Muwanguzi, Jude Kyle Musede, and Jamairah Makumbi.

Haruna Ramathan, Larry Ssekamwa, and Ashraf Mbabazi Jr will also be showing their expertise in the MX 65 cc category.

Veteran Presence: Orland and Ssentamu

Stav Orland and Fortune Ssentamu are no strangers to South African tracks.

Guest rider in the MX1 category Stav Orland negotiates a hump at the FIM Central Africa MX Challenge in Busika | Pulse Sports Image

Their commendable performances during the third round of the South African MX Championship make them ones to watch.

With Orland finishing second and Ssentamu eighth in the MX2 category, expectations are high.

The MX1 category will see an exclusive Ugandan representation from Isima Mukiibi.

However, the team will miss the expertise of six riders, including Yasser Ali Omar, Wazir Ali Omar, Ashram Makumbi, Ethan Jassa Katek, Jaysen Katek, and Milton Obote Akena, who have withdrawn due to personal reasons.

Stav Orland rips up the track in Bloemfontein, South Africa | Photo Credit: Courtesy

Additionally, African champion Gift Ssebuguzi is on the recovery path, nursing injuries from the World Junior Championships.

Defending champions South Africa, who clinched the leading country award in Uganda last year, are the ones to beat.

As Uganda's finest riders set foot on Cape Town's tracks, they carry the hopes and aspirations of an entire nation, eager to make their mark and elevate Uganda's status in the motocross world.