Smets Doubles up 500’s

Cycle News Staff | July 2, 2000

For the seventh time in nine races, KTM’s Joel Smets took the overall win in a 500cc GP, this time on a sunny afternoon at the Belgian round in Kester.

Before a crowd of 20,000, Smets took a double win, further extending his championship lead. After 10 of 16 rounds, Smets leads Yamaha’s Marnicq Bervoets 329 to 249 with KTM’s Peter Johnasson third at 228.

Of the two motos the first was the more competitive, Smets finishing just 1.67 seconds in front of Husqvarna’s Darryl King at the end of the 45-minute moto. Yamaha’s Andrea Bartolini was a close third.

“The gate didn’t fall as anticipated and when it did I and many other riders were pulling back our machines. I didn’t attack in the first lap as I was pretty sure they would red-flag and restart but they didn’t,” Bartolini said in a Yamaha press release. “Eventually I came up from sixth to third but I had a problem with my rear brake.”

The Yamaha riders finished two-three to Smets in the second moto, though much farther back. Bervoets was over 15 seconds back with Bartolini nearly a minute behind.

“It’s not much at all, but I have to admit that Joel is just a bit faster than us,” Bervoets said. “I chased him again for the whole 45 minutes, but I just couldn’t get by. Our bike is equal if not better than his, I guess he is just riding a bit better. It’s frustrating to be so close and yet so far away.”

Moto One:

1. Joel Smets (KTM)

2. Darryl King (Husqvarna)

3. Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha)

4. Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha)

5. Peter Johansson (KTM)

6. Erwin Machtlinger (VOR)

7. Chris Burnham (VOR)

8. Willie van Wessel (Husqvarna)

9. Fabrizio Dini (Husqvarna)

10. Joakim Karlsson (Honda)

Moto Two:

1. Joel Smets (KTM)

2. Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha)

3. Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha)

4. Peter Johansson (KTM)

5. Darryl King (Husqvarna)

6. Joakim Karlsson (Honda)

7. Massimo Bartolini (Yamaha)

8. Marcel van Drunen (Husqvarna)

9. Siefried Bauer (KTM)

10. Avo Leok (KTM)