Everts is the King of Belgium!
RaceStefan Everts (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) moved to the top of the Motocross GP championship and completed one of the biggest comebacks of his career at the L&M Motocross Grand Prix of Namur today. The Belgian won both the Motocross GP and 125GP classes, the fourth time he has achieved this feat this season.
Many had written off the Belgians chances of winning the inaugural Motocross GP title, the first series that pits 250cc two-strokes against 450cc four-strokes, after a luckless start to the season saw him trail Mickael Pichon (Suzuki) by 25 points after three rounds. But the Belgian superstar has been unbeaten since then, with five wins in a row taking him to the top of the championship.
The event had been eagerly awaited and ultimately proved to be a classic as Everts, the ultimate stylist and a six-times world champion, and the pugilistic Joel Smets (KTM), a four-time champ, battled it out in front of their fanatical home fans.
Smets had grabbed the holeshot but Everts used the power of his four-stroke Yamaha YZ450FM to blast into the lead on the third lap. Smets was able to cling to the Yamahas back wheel for the remainder of the race, but Everts was able to put in some scorching laps late in the race to add a Motocross GP victory to his earlier triumph in the 125s, despite a last lap problem caused when Everts' machine became entangled with the tape marking the edge of the circuit.
Everts now leads the championship by two points from Pichon, who finished a distant third, with Smets still in contention a further five points behind. Yamaha continues to lead the constructors championship.
Marnicq Bervoets was unable to make it an all Belgian podium, but still had his best result of the season with fourth place. The Yamaha L&M Motocross Team rider has been blighted by bad luck all season but put in a strong showing at his home circuit, which runs through the park surrounding the impressive Namur castle, while Italian Claudio Federici overcame a poor qualifying position to retain fifth place in the championship. He finished tenth on his kitted YZ450F in Belgium.
Stefan Everts (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) - First
I was able to pass Smets early but he kept pushing hard and I could never pull far away. He got a little closer after 30 minutes but I stayed calm. In the last couple of laps I was able to pull out a couple of seconds and I had a real problem near the end because halfway around the last lap the tape marking the outside of the track got caught up in my back wheel. It damaged the clutch and caused the engine to cut out twice. Thankfully each time there was a downhill straight afterwards and I could restart the engine. I thought that Smets might realise I had a problem and would catch me but that wasnt the case.
Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) - Fourth
That was another step in the right direction and I feel that I have turned my season around. The first three got away early on and I pushed too hard and couldn't get a good rhythm, although I had no problems keeping ahead of Dobb. I would have liked to have made it an all Belgian podium but hopefully I can make it in the next round.
Claudio Federici (Yamaha De Carli Team) - Tenth
I made it hard for myself by qualifying badly. I got away well and was able to make up places in the race, but I think everyone knows how difficult it is to pass at Namur.