Everts denied in The Netherlands


The much-anticipated first confrontation between the four-strokes and two-strokes on a sand track saw an excellent start for Yamaha. Stefan Everts took a clear holeshot using the grunt of his YZ450FM and for two-thirds of the race the Belgian controlled the pace from the front despite the persistent presence of first round winner Mickael Pichon. A small mistake allowed Pichon to edge his front wheel in front on lap 14 of 21, but the confident Everts immediately retaliated to regain the advantage, only for his French rival to smash into him on the next turn, leaving the Yamaha with a badly damaged front wheel. After a pit stop, to change the wheel, Everts was able to remount a fabulous recovery from 14th to finish ninth.

The dubious move which cost Everts the chance of victory was just the final straw for the L&M Yamaha team in a race which had promised so much. Marnicq Bervoets had been troubled from the start and was forced out at half distance, so in the end De Carli teamster Claudio Federici brought the first Yamaha home in sixth place, a superb result in sand for the Italian rider on his production YZ450F.

Claudio Federici - sixth
"I suppose I have to be grateful that I got a sixth place because many riders went out, I did exactly what I came here to do and got my reward. In Spain I had been very nervous, so I set out here to ride an intelligent race. I got a good start which always helps, and I just rode my own pace and concentrated on not making mistakes. Others didn't do that, and they paid the price for it. Now I can go to Germany full of confidence on a track I know I can ride very well."

Stefan Everts - ninth
"I felt I was always in control of the race until the incident with Pichon. He closed up on me when I had my usual dip ten minutes into the race, but I was able to pull out an advantage again immediately. The track was really rough today and I made a big mistake at 25 minutes which allowed him to make a pass, but I immediately countered and I had a clear advantage going into the next corner. There was no way for him to make a pass there, he just went into me and his footrest went into my front wheel. I felt immediately that many spokes were broken, and I had no alternative but to tour slowly to the pits for a new wheel. I feel that race should have been mine, and I am very upset at what happened; Pichon can sometimes be a very dangerous rider."

Marnicq Bervoets - retired
"I really am going through a crisis at the moment. I crashed again yesterday, so that is three weeks in a row now, so I wasn't brimming with confidence going to the gate already, then at the gate my clutch went. I eventually got the engine started and set off in pursuit, but I was not riding well. I was back into a points-scoring position before half-distance, but then I had a collision with another rider I had just passed. There was a yellow flag at the double jump where Beirer had crashed, so I was rolling it in accordance with the rules, but another rider jumped it... straight into me."