Stefan Everts has opened the new season, his last on the World MX circuit, with a victory at the Starcross in Mantova, Italy.
Everts, who was beaten by Sebastien Tortelli in the Saturday qualification race, plus in the first moto on Sunday, showed why he is a multiple world champion by winning the final two motos to claim the overall in the event. As for Tortelli, who showed so much over the weekend, he went 1-DNF-DNF after suffering bad luck in the last two motos.
Everts, however, knows that the season has just begun, and won't look any further than this weekend.
"It's just started, but I feel good,” Everts said. “The new Yamaha is really strong out of the start and I feel very confident with it. For me that is really the most important thing. In the first moto I tried to stay with Sebastien, but I couldn't. In the second moto I felt as though I was as quick as him, but he stalled and that was it."
Tortelli held a slight lead over Everts in the second moto when he stalled the bike, and failed to restart it. In the third moto Tortelli was involved in a crash in the first corner and retired to the pits.
"We have a small problem with the bike stalling, or at least not being able to start it,” Tortelli said. “But that is why we come to the races to try and see how to fix this problem. I know I have the speed to race with Stefan, so that is not a problem. In the last moto Brian Jorgensen crashed in front of me, and I didn't want to hit him, so I stopped, then the bike stalled. I am pretty happy with some of the things this weekend, and now I will begin with my training on Monday and prepare for the Grand Prix season starting, that is what it is all about."
Once again the Mantova Starcross was a magnificent event with a large crowd and good racing.
Other riders who showed good speed over the weekend were Steve Ramon who finished with a 2-3 from the last two motos, after struggling in the first with a problem with his bike.
Ramon’s teammate, Kevin Strijbos, went 3-3-7 for second overall, with Javier Vico Garcia third with 9-4-2. David Philippaerts was the star of the Italians, going 6-12-4 and taking the MX2 class overall, while his CHAMP KTM teammate Tyla Rattray went 8-9-5, both were on 250 machines.
MOTO ONE: 1. Sebastien Tortelli; 2. Stefan Everts; 3. Kevin Strijbos; 4. Brian Jorgensen; 5. Tanel Leok; 6. David Philippaerts; 7. Stephen Sword; 8. Tyla Rattray; 9. Javier Garcia; 10. Rui Goncalves.
MOTO TWO: 1. Stefan Everts; 2. Steve Ramon; 3. Kevin Strijbos; 4. Javier Vico Garcia; 5. Stephen Sword; 6. Alex Salvini; 7. Chris Beggi; 8. Brian Jorgensen; 9. Tyla Rattray; 10. Tanel Leok.
MOTO ONE: 1. Stefan Everts; 2. Javier Garcia; 3. Steve Ramon; 4. David Philippaerts; 5. Tyla Rattray; 6. Tanel Leok; 7. Kevin Strijbos; 8. Alex Salvini; 9. Antonio Meo; 10. Bas Verhoeven.
OVERALL: 1. Stefan Everts, 2. Kevin Strijbos, 3. Javier Garcia.