Everts, Rattray Top MX GP in Portugal

Kit Palmer | April 23, 2006

The following is a release from Youthstream:

Yamaha’s Stefan Everts and KTM’s Tyla Rattray both captured in Portugal their third consecutive win, and are strongly leading now their respective class. Unfortunately Sébastien Tortelli got injured during the second heat MX1, and could miss a few races with a dislocated femur.

Will Stefan Everts win 100 GPs during his career? He got in Agueda is 90th GP win and was really impressive on the track, winning both heats and giving a strong opposition to Tortelli. The Frenchman passed him during the first race, but Everts reacted immediately and led 20 of the 21 laps. Tortelli did a last attempt in the penultimate lap but crashed and hurt his foot, keeping anyway his second place in this race.

Tortelli got the holeshot in the following heat, but Everts passed him during the second lap; the Belgian was on the way for his fourth heat win this season when Tortelli crashed and dislocated his femur. He received medical attention on the track, and then was taken to the hospital for further examination.

Everts won the race and the GP, followed by Spaniard Jonathan Barragan and Belgian Kevin Strijbos.

“This week I knew that this track suits Sébastien, and my plan was to be more aggressive than usual,” Everts said. “When he passed me in the first race I reacted immediately and passed him back, and then kept my lines as I knew he was fastest on some places. I passed him at the same spot in the second race, but when I saw him lying on the ground, it was difficult to stay focused. I did a couple of mistakes and Barragan was pushing hard, I knew that he had a strong physical condition. It’s a pity for the championship that Sébastien got injured after Josh [Coppins] and Mickael [Pichon], but I know that some new talents such as Leok, Barragan, Ramon or Strijbos are really fast and want to beat me.”

Tyla Rattray didn’t get a successful start this weekend, but he was strong enough to come back in front and finally win his third GP when he passed Christophe Pourcel in the second race. Third of the opening heat, Rattray came back later from seventh position to win the moto.

“When I came back third in the first race I tried to push hard to catch Cairoli and Pourcel, but the gap was staying the same, and I decided to keep some energy for the second race, because I knew it would be rough,” Rattray said. “I got a good jump off the gate, but in the first corner, I lost some places. I passed Philippaerts and came back third, then I pushed to pass Goncalves, and three laps before the end, I took the lead over Pourcel. It was a good race, this year I want to score as many points as Stefan in the MX1 class.”

Having been sick – he vomited twice before the first race – Christophe Pourcel got his first podium of the season, while Antonio Cairoli took the third position. Winner of the first heat, the reigning World Champion crashed at the second start and came back 10th.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.