Four-time World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts had a mixed debut on his new Husqvarna 570cc four-stroke machine at the Koersel track in Belgium, on February 13.
Everts led both motos of the season-opening International, but was hampered by severe arm pump. The Belgian rider ended up crashing in both motos and eventually finished out the day with 4-DNF results.
"We have worked on many things with the bike," Everts said. "[We’ve] changed the frame, the carburetor, and it works much better. After today, we will now work on some other things, including the suspension. I did not expect too much today. All I want is to be ready for the first Grand Prix."
Everts looked brilliant early on, as he opened up a big lead in the first moto, building a 10-second advantage on Joel Smets, and then the Husqvarna ran off the track.
"I started getting arm pump," Everts explained. "I knew I would from the four-stroke. Then I was riding a little too hard and hit a tree. I was lucky I did not hurt myself."
While the first-moto crash did little damage, the second race accident was another story. Everts again moved into the lead and after four laps the pain in Everts’ forearms became too much.
"I just got tired in the arms," Everts said. "I tried to ride smooth, but it was not working. In the end, I crashed really hard over the handlebars. I hit my head very hard on the ground and was dizzy for a while. That was it for my day."
Three-time World Motocross Champion Smets also had a mixed day, winning the first moto, and then crashing several times in the second moto. He still salvaged second overall.
Smets was more than happy with his first outing of the 2000 season.
"The opening moto was perfect, just what I expected," Smets said. "In the second race, I was a little wild. I look forward to the first Grand Prix in Australia though, I can win for sure on this bike (the KTM)."
The winner in Koersel was Belgian Danny Theybers (KTM) who tallied 2-2 results, with Smets finishing second and Finland’s Marko Kovainen rounding out the top three.