Botswana Motorsport has suffered a huge setback with the passing of well-known rider, Motsumi Lekone this week. Lekone’s passing will leave a gap hard to fill in the motorsport.
He will be laid to rest at his home village of Metsimotlhabe tomorrow. His passing comes just three months from this year’s edition of the 1,000km Desert Race in Jwaneng.
The annual event takes place from June 22 to June 24, 2018 and Lekone has been a regular competitor in the quad bike category, as well as other local events including Khawa where he performed relatively well. He was one of the few local riders to participate in the Desert Race before it moved to Jwaneng.
Although he had never won the race, he was amongst the few local riders who left a lasting impression despite the technical glitches that usually accompany such difficult terrains. His exploits saw him attract several sponsors including the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development where he was working. He has also benefited from the financial back up of the BotswanaPost and Engen Bontleng.
Lekone, however, suffered a setback in 2015 ahead of the 1,000km Desert Race in Jwaneng when the Federation of International Motorcycling (FIM) cancelled his South African licence.
The news arrived to him a day before the race, leaving Lekone disappointed. The licence was revoked after the FIM realised
However, Lekone returned last year and finished third in the Botswana Motor Sport (BMS) National Off-Road Championships held at Mantshwabisi village in preparation for last year’s Desert Race. Fellow quad bike rider and friend, Colonel Majama said Lekone’s passing is a huge loss to motorsport.
He said Lekone was someone who always advocated for the growth for Batswana riders. He said Lekone was always dreaming big not only for himself, but also for fellow local riders.
“He was someone who felt that it was time now that riders did not spend their own money to fund their participation at international events. He was on a mission to see to it that local riders get some sort of funding in the future. The last time we spoke he was telling me that he wanted to go and race in the Dakar Rally‚” Majama said yesterday. Majama, who owns Bontleng club, is also a renowned sky diver.