Yamaha Intur Sports Motocross Team’s Stefan Everts was beaten for the first time this season after a thrilling contest against Josh Coppins at Desert Martin for the Grand Prix of Northern Ireland. 

The Belgian was forced onto the second step after accumulating a 100% perfect winning streak of twelve rounds in succession when he lost a second race duel with Coppins. He had earlier taken his 22nd consecutive moto triumph by capturing the opening foray from the New Zealander and this haul of 25 points contributed towards the confirmation of Yamaha’s ownership of the Manufacturer’s title in MX1 with the YZ450FM.

The powdery soil at the venue some 60 kilometres west of Belfast became increasingly rough after a day of practice and qualification. Quick, undulating and technical the layout demanded complete concentration but also offered several racing lines for some interesting and intense action. 

For only the second time this year the 35 minute and 2 lap Grand Prix motos encountered rainy conditions as brief showers scattered the scenic Irish landscape. Everts was too busy to notice the spurts of light rain as he faced his hardest challenge since the Portuguese round in April during Moto1. Coppins harried the World Champion for the duration of the sprint and the duo were only separated by more than a second when they had to negotiate backmarkers. It was entertaining fare but Coppins only really showed his front wheel to the Belgian in anger on several occasions, an overtaking move would have been another feat altogether.

Everts started the second moto in a similar vein but Coppins was a renewed force and a fantastic race between the rivals with numerous lead changes occurred. They lapped all of the riders up to 3rd position but in the closing stages Everts had to concede the moto, and the Grand Prix, to the determined Kiwi who extended his lead throughout the last ten minutes. 

Everts has already claimed the 2006 campaign with an emotional victory three weeks ago at Namur. He heads the standings by 181 points from fellow Belgians Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon.

Cédric Melotte was absent in Desert Martin after breaking three toes on his right foot last week in a Belgian Championship event. The 28 year old is hoping to be back in action for the following race at Lierop taking place next weekend for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands; the fourteenth and penultimate round of the Championship.
Stefan Everts, Yamaha Intur Sport Motocross Team:
“It has been a tough race today. The track was hard. The first race was exciting and in the second Josh was so fast. At one point I could not stay with him anymore and physically I was finished. I think that we had the same speed but he was a bit stronger so I decided to go for a safe second towards the end. I am happy for Josh, he has been working hard for this. Of course I am a bit disappointed to lose but I still have two more chances to reach 100.” 

Carlo Rinaldi, Racing Manager, Yamaha Intur Sports Motocross Team:
“It has been a long time since we have lost and this was a situation we were very used to! Second place overall is by no means a bad result and our moto classifications were the same as Josh’s, but he deserved to win because in the second race he seemed more physically prepared than Stefan. Towards the end of the second moto Stefan struggled to keep the rhythm. It is a pity because we very much wanted to take the 100th win this weekend but I hope it is only delayed by one week or maximum to Ernee. In the meantime we have won the manufacturer’s title which is important for Yamaha. It is possible that Cédric will be back next week, we should know by tomorrow.”

Temp: 18
Crowd: 18243
Weather: Changeable
2006 GP of Desert Martin, Ireland 27/08/2006
Race 1 – 20 Laps
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Stefan Everts Yamaha BEL 40’50.848
2 Joshua Coppins Honda NZL 0’0.722
3 Ken De Dycker Honda BEL 0’58.605
4 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 1’9.286
5 Gordon Crockard Honda GBR 1’27.028
6 Kornel Nemeth Suzuki HUN 1’51.475
7 Manuel Priem Yamaha BEL 1’59.467
8 Jonathan Barragan KTM ESP 2’1.314
9 Antti Pyrhonen TM FIN 2’2.284
10 Christian Beggi Honda ITA 2’5.783
11 Steve Ramon Suzuki BEL -1 Laps
12 Tanel Leok Kawasaki EST -1 Laps
13 Kristof Salaets Yamaha BEL -1 Laps
14 Wayne Smith Honda RSA -1 Laps
15 Mark Jones Honda GBR -1 Laps
16 Pascal Leuret Honda FRA -1 Laps
17 Neville Bradshaw Suzuki RSA -1 Laps
18 Johnny Lindhe KTM SWE -1 Laps
19 Marcus Norlen Suzuki SWE -1 Laps
20 Scott Columb Suzuki NZL -1 Laps
Race 2 – 20 Laps
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Joshua Coppins Honda NZL 40’51.512
2 Stefan Everts Yamaha BEL 0’25.650
3 Jonathan Barragan KTM ESP 2’4.676
4 Ken De Dycker Honda BEL -1 Laps
5 Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL -1 Laps
6 Manuel Priem Yamaha BEL -1 Laps
7 Kornel Nemeth Suzuki HUN -1 Laps
8 Tanel Leok Kawasaki EST -1 Laps
9 James Noble Honda GBR -1 Laps
10 Antti Pyrhonen TM FIN -1 Laps
11 Johnny Lindhe KTM SWE -1 Laps
12 Lauris Freibergs Suzuki LVA -1 Laps
13 Marcus Norlen Suzuki SWE -1 Laps
14 Pascal Leuret Honda FRA -1 Laps
15 Neville Bradshaw Suzuki RSA -1 Laps
16 Kristof Salaets Yamaha BEL -1 Laps
17 Bas Verhoeven Kawasaki NED -1 Laps
18 Wayne Smith Honda RSA -1 Laps
19 Marvin Van Daele Honda BEL -2 Laps
20 Tom de Belder Suzuki BEL -2 Laps
Best Lap
Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
Stefan Everts Yamaha BEL 1’57.572
Rider Standings 27/08/2006
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Points
1. Stefan Everts Yamaha BEL 639
2. Kevin Strijbos Suzuki BEL 458
3. Steve Ramon Suzuki BEL 418
4. Ken De Dycker Honda BEL 409
5. Tanel Leok Kawasaki EST 387
6. Jonathan Barragan KTM ESP 306
7. Joshua Coppins Honda NZL 249
8. Pascal Leuret Honda FRA 242
9. Manuel Priem Yamaha BEL 239
10. Cedric Melotte Yamaha BEL 224
11. James Noble Honda GBR 198
12. Javier Garcia Vico Honda ESP 196
13. Julien Bill Yamaha GBR 167
14. Antti Pyrhonen TM FIN 161
15. Gordon Crockard Honda GBR 153
16. Brian Jorgensen Honda DNK 131
17. Marvin Van Daele Honda BEL 129
18. Wyatt Avis KTM RSA 106
19. Danny Theybers Suzuki BEL 102
20. Sebastien Tortelli KTM FRA 99
Manufacturer Standings 27/08/2006
Pos. Manufacturer Points
1. Yamaha 639
2. Suzuki 523
3. Honda 494
4. Kawasaki 391
5. KTM 384
6. TM 161



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