The following release is from Yamaha…
Stefan Everts (Yamaha L&M Motocross Team) plans to make more motocross history by entering all three classes at the French GP in Ernée on September 13-14.
With the all-important Motocross GP class rider and constructor titles won by Everts and Yamaha at Loket last weekend, ‘Stefun’ has decided to go for another challenge to thrill his fans at the final Grand Prix of the season – becoming the first rider to enter the 125, 650 and Motocross GP classes all on the same day.
Everts could have been forgiven for taking it easy after clinching the inaugural Motocross GP title with one round to go, but with the restructured 2004 championship expected to feature only two classes at Grands Prix next year, Ernée might represent the final chance for him to add this achievement to his many others.
The ultra-fit 30-year-old Belgian stands alone in the record books for having the most motocross world championships (seven) and the most GP wins (69). Earlier this year he also became the first rider to win two GPs in different classes on the same day when he won both the 125 and Motocross GP races in Italy, a feat he has repeated a further six times.
“This is a really interesting challenge for me,” explains Everts. “Ever since I won two races in a day people have been saying ‘why don’t you try for three?’ That got me thinking, but before it was not possible because it was important for us to concentrate on winning the Motocross GP championship.
“Yamaha were very positive to my request and with the changes next year this might be my very last chance to do this. Now that the title is won I can go to Ernée with nothing to lose. Some people will be expecting me to win all three races and of course I will try, but that’s probably too much. The first target was simply to do such a unique thing: entering all three classes. Physically it’s going to be tough but I still felt very strong after the second race in Loket. With a long gap between the Motocross GP and 650 races I feel that I am up to it, and who knows what will happen?”
Although Everts’ 2002 championship winning YZ500FM machine is eligible to enter the class, that bike features a radically different frame to the production-based YZ450F and YZ250F he is campaigning this year. Therefore to make it easier for Stefan to switch between bikes Yamaha will provide a machine featuring an engine slightly over the 650 class minimum of 475cc housed in his YZ450FM chassis.
Theoretically Everts could leave France as an eight-times world champion. His first race of the day will be in the 125s, where he currently lies third in the championship after starting to enter the series at round four. Everts is 24 points behind points leader Steve Ramon (KTM) and just two behind fellow Yamaha rider Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha RZ Team). Ramon needs just three points, the equivalent of an 18th place finish, to be certain of the title. If he slips up then a win for either of the Yamaha men will see them take the honors.