Everts rampant in Lierop
RaceStefan Everts (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) tightened his grip on the Motocross Grand Prix World Championship with a truly outstanding performance at round nine in Lierop, The Netherlands today. The six-times world champion's top-drawer display on the sand circuit was his sixth consecutive class victory and increased his series lead to 10 points.
The Belgian took the lead on the opening lap and pulled away to build up a lead of almost 40 seconds while title rivals Joel Smets (KTM) and Mickael Pichon (Suzuki) fought hard for second place. That battle went in favour of Smets, largely due to two crashes that relegated his French opponent down to sixth place at the end of the 18-lap race. Josh Coppins (Honda) scored his first podium of the season in a tough race that saw many top riders retire.
Among those not making the chequered flag were Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) and Claudio Federici (Team Yamaha De Carli). Bervoets was hit by another rider at the first corner and fell. He recovered strongly to move up to 13th by lap seven, before crashing again. Federici also crashed on turn one and was run over by two other riders. The Italian had no serious injuries but was unable to complete the race.
The result extends Everts championship lead to ten points over new second place man Smets, with Pichon a further two points adrift. Yamaha also leads constructors championship with a 13 point advantage over second-placed KTM.
Stefan Everts (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) - First
Mentally I was prepared for a hard, physical race and that is what it was. I didn't get the holeshot but was able to pass Coppins on the first lap. I pushed hard to build a big lead. When it got to over 20 seconds I settled down to cruise round and control the race. I really felt in good shape today and weve made a step towards the title, although only a small one. We have three races to go and I might have built up a gap on Mickael today but he and Joel are so strong that I can only take a few points from them at each race. Anything can still happen.
Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) - DNF
This has not been a good season for me. After my fourth place at the last round, my confidence was high and, after qualifying fourth, I had high expectations of the podium. My chances of that went at the first corner. I had a good start but Smets came straight across me and took my front wheel out. I was dead last when I restarted, and even then my first lap problems were not over as I ran into Federici as he lay on the ground. That left me 27th at the end of the first lap, but I had fought up to 13th before I fell again. With all the knocks that the bike had taken I decided it was wiser to stop.
Claudio Federici (Team Yamaha De Carli) - DNF
The difficult sand track and the heat meant this was always going to be a hard race, not only for me, but I didn't get very far. I fell on the first lap and two riders ran into me. I was hit in the ribs and was in too much pain to continue, although I am fine now.