The greatest Grand Prix motocrosser of all time captured his seventh World Motocross Championship today, Belgian Stefan Everts racing his L&M Yamaha to the title and breaking the long-standing record of Joel Robert.
Everts took the MotocrossGP Championship after winning the latest round of the championship in Loket, Czech Republic, today. It had looked like Everts would have to wait until the final round in France to win the title, but a crash by major rival Joel Smets in the middle of the MXGP moto saw Everts take a big enough points lead to take the championship.
“I’m a little surprised,” Everts said. “I didn’t expect to win today. I thought the title would come in France in two weeks. I saw the pit board with a sign saying seventh title and I got a little emotional. I was shocked that it happened in Loket.”
Riding in his 175th Grand Prix, Everts wins in the MotocrossGP and 125cc classes moved his all-time win tally to 69.
KTM-mounted Smets had held fifth place in the race, which would have seen him enter the last round of the championship some 24 points behind Everts, but the four-time World Motocross Champion crashed hard over a jump and then collided with another rider, dropping him to 12th place in the moto. While Smets was able to move up to 10th, he was not able to score enough points to stop Everts from taking the title.
In the 125cc class, Everts was again victorious. In fact, he is now only 24 points behind series leader Steve Ramon with one round remaining. If Ramon has mechanical problems in the last round then Everts could pick up title number eight.
Ramon blew a chance to wrap up the 125cc title in Loket, a poor start, then a very disappointing race, saw him finish eight. He is now 23 points ahead of Andrea Bartolini with one round remaining, with Everts another point behind. Only terrible luck would see Ramon fail to pick up a World title in two weeks in France.
“I just didn’t come out of the first corner in a good position,” Ramon said. “I got caught in with a pack of riders and couldn’t get past. It was difficult to make ground on the top riders today. I will go to France with the hope of a podium, and then we shall see what happens.”