Stefan Everts took his third victory of the Grand Prix pre-season by going 1-1-1 in the second round of the Belgian MX1 Championship, held in Neeroeteren, Belgium, March 27. The Rinaldi Yamaha rider dominated the second round of his National title, held at his home track in Neeroeteren. Everts should be tough to beat in Zolder for the opening round of the MX1 World Championship.
Second place went to Joel Smets, on the factory Suzuki. Smets posted 6-2-3 results.
For Everts it was a magnificent performance on a track that he has never really had a lot of success. In previous races at Neeroeteren, Everts has struggled, losing out to Mickael Pichon in last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, and often coming up short in Belgian Championship races.
Several riders had misfortunes at Neeroeteren, with KTM factory rider Ben Townley suffering another terrible day. The MX2 World Champion DNF’ed two motos and failed to crack the top five in the other. Factory Suzuki rider Kevin Strijbos suffered more injury to his ankle and is in danger of missing the opening round of the World MX1 Championship in Zolder next weekend.
Cedric Melotte held a slight lead in the opening moto, but halfway through the race, Melotte made an error, giving the lead to Everts. Townley held a top-five position until his machine broke.
In the second moto, Everts led from the start and never looked back. Smets worked hard after a bad start, finally getting past Ken De Dijcker in the closing stages.
The final moto of the day saw Everts take the victory, ahead of defending MX2 Champion Steve Ramon, Smets, Marvin Van Daele and Melotte.
While Everts was dominating in Belgium, Josh Coppins was doing the same in the second round of the British Motocross Championship. The CAS Honda rode well after recovering from his shoulder injury that he sustained at the Hawkstone Park International a few weeks ago. Coppins won the second round of the series with 1-1 results.
The New Zealander continued his good early-season form and will now travel to Zolder and go head to head with eight-time World Motocross Champion Everts. Coppins’ victory played out around a very rough Polesworth circuit in the midlands and, with good starts and consistent lap times, Coppins looked solid.
Second place in England went to Coppins' teammate Jussi Vehvilainen. The Finnish flyer went 2-2 for the runner-up spot.
Vehvilainen also finished second in round one of the series and is now fighting for the series lead with round-one winner Paul Cooper (Honda). Cooper finished with 3-5 results this weekend, while another Honda rider, James Noble of the RWJ Honda team, finished with 4-4 results.
In the MX2 class, Molson Kawasaki rider Tom Church went 2-2, with CHAMP KTM rider Carl Nunn on the factory KTM 250 four-stroke finishing with 1-3 results. Also shining brightly was Yamaha UK rider Billy Mackenzie, who went 4-1. American Mike Brown again struggled with a sixth place in the second moto and a DNF in moto one.