The Union of the Bull and the Power Engine

When the racing track got heated up in an electrifying second in the final round of the Red Bull Riders Cup competition at the 2.489-mile Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, on October 25, Mathew Hoyle was the only last man that survived the heat and making the trophy finds its way down to the United Kingdom.


The competition which featured about 23 riders all over Europe put against each other the top 10 riders from the Red Bull AMA U. S. Rookies Cup and the 10 best riders from the European-based Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. All competed on the same identically-prepared KTM RC125 Motorcycle.


The power machine, which houses one single cylinder at 2-stroke, has its displacement put at 125 cubic centimetre. With a horse equated power of 45, the motorcycle makes a complete revolution of 13.000 in one minute.  You definitely can’t expect less!


The 13litres capacity engine was the highlight of the KTM RC125, a rotating force of 30Nm at 12,800 revolution per minute. Compressing air at the ratio of 9 to 1, CDI ignition, liquid cooled, coupled with a 6-gear transmission system, the little effort and secret of Hoyle in beating Spaniard Luis Salom to finish off the 17-lap race by 6.170 seconds just got uncovered! And if the carrier comes with front and rear WP suspension, Brembo Steel disk, Marchesini and 136kg, including the rider, then what is Matthew Hoyle bragging about?


Lot of thanks to Red Bull, the official energy drink and sponsor, which is going all the way for two- and four-wheeled motorsport racing than anyone else on the planet! It might interest you to know that Red Bulls sponsors the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 and brought up one of the first history making American F1 racers, Scott Speed, teammate of Vitantonio Liuzzi. And it is based on the success of their F1 rookies programme that led to the creation of Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup in cooperation with KTM Motorcycles. With lots of different sponsorship possibilities mapped out, Red Bull promises to give the art of racing wings to fly to the highest level!


The prospect of Mr. Femi Otedola and Alhaji Aliko Dangote engaging in direct business competition is already exciting Nigerians across the economic strata.

Until about two months ago, Otedola and Dangote have been known to be buddies in both the social and business senses. A source that had trailed the relationship between the two observed that though Dangote had had preeminence in the nation’s economic sphere before Otedola, but as soon as Otedola emerged in the big league of business owners about six years ago, he and Dangote became a pair both in public places and business alliances.

 In the early days of Transcorp, Otedola and Dangote were on board of the company, positioned back then as Nigeria’s answer to the dominance of the multinationals. Perhaps the most high profile business alliance between the two was the Blue Star Consortium, a special acquisition vehicle the two had used to acquire controlling stakes in the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries. The acquisitions, were, however, revoked soon after Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua assumed the office of the nation’s president.

Beside, though Dangote is known to be the face of Obajana Cement Company, a cement manufacturing concern propositioned to be the biggest in production capacity in Africa, Otedola, his friend has also been mentioned to be part of Obajana in terms of stake holdings.

But now, it would seem that the business collaboration between the two may have been put under pressure arising from what sources close to the very moneyed men describe as betrayal of trust.

 “I think it all has to do with the battle to acquire Chevron Plc, the downstream arm of Chevron Oil and Gas in Nigeria.” A source close to the two said. “Of course, you know by now that Femi had an intense interest in the acquisition of the company. The benefits to him were obvious, if he had acquired Chevron, he would have become the indisputable dominant operator in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry. He would have merged Africa Petroleum, (a downstream behemoth in its own right after it was merged with Zenon) with Chevron Plc. With the two you can only imagine Femi’s competitive edge in the market place” The source revealed.

“Before the divestment of Chevron Oil and Gas from Chevron Plc was made public, Femi had apparently got information on the move and had shared his desire to buy Chevron with his friend, Dangote. I know that initially, Dangote was all in support of the scheme by Femi to acquire. But that was until Sayyu Dantata came into the picture.” The source said.

Sayyu Dantata, aside being a former business protégé of Dangote, is also related to Dangote, so it would seem natural that the balance of emotions by Dangote would tilt in favour of Sayyu.

“As it turned out, I am not too sure if Femi thought along that line. At least, he and Dangote had been at the Chevron thing for a while so there would have been no suspicion of Dangote’s shift of loyalty. So as the negotiation and bidding for Chevron proceeded, Femi constantly updated on his next moves and strategies. As issues evolved, he got to know that Sayyu’s MRS Group, the company that eventually won the bid was always outflanking him. The long and short of it is that there is the suspicion that Dangote might have availed his cousin, Sayyu of information Femi had shared with him.”

The same source said there had been a confrontation between the two where Dangote explained that Otedola could not have expected him to go the whole hog with him in consideration of his (Dangote) relationship with Sayyu.

“You know these people are matured men, you don’t expect them to bring their small fights to the public place, what I know is that Femi has decided to review and locate any opportunity in the economic space that enable him contribute to the economic advancement of the country. So all these talks about Femi taking on Dangote in competition by deciding to go into establishment of cement manufacturing plant is principally about expanding his business horizon. It has no direct bearing on the role Dangote played in the bid for Chevron.” The source explained.