17 September 2005
Everts wins Irish season finale.
Newly crowned nine times world champion Stefan Everts has completed his latest title-winning season in style by taking victory in the season ending Grand Prix of Ireland, the seventeenth round of the 2005 MX1 Motocross World Championship.
Crowned champion two-weeks ago in the Netherlands, Everts nonetheless came to Ireland with the same determination he has shown throughout the season and - after two tough races - claimed his eighth victory of the season, and 87th ever GP win, with two heats wins.
Pole sitter Josh Coppins grabbed the holeshot in the first heat, but Everts passed him after eight laps. However, he was far from safe since Ben Townley - riding in his final GP before moving to the AMA championships in 2006 - also overtook his friend and countryman to put serious pressure on Everts for the last twenty-minutes. Nevertheless, despite but several valid attempts, he could not find a way past 'the legend'.
However, Townley still looked like signing off his GP career with his fifth overall victory of the season, after leading around turn one of race two and quickly pulling away - but he would be caught and finally passed by a charging Everts on lap 14.
Meanwhile, despite a big crash early in the race, title runner-up Coppins ended the series alongside Everts and Townley on the podium, where both were among many members of the motocross paddock to wish BT all the best for the future. Indeed, Ben's KTM team even built a banner to greet the Kiwi as he finished his final GP for the Austrian marque.
"Yesterday the track was a little bit too fast for me, but today was pretty good as it was rough," explained Everts. "I did my best and had another good weekend, Ben was really fast today but I think that he was too quick in the second race and couldn't keep the pace.
"I tried at the beginning to find a good rhythm and at one point when Ben slowed down it was time to attack. When I passed him I pushed as hard as I could during three or four laps, and then the race was done. It was another great season for me, I was happy to race with Ben and I wish him all the best in the US," added the Belgian.
"There were a lot of people on the last lap who were clapping for me, especially to be at the finish line with everyone was really great," said an emotional Townley. "I have built up some great friendships while I have been here in Europe and I'm sure going to miss everyone. I'm really sad to leave and it's only started to hit me today that I'm going and my life's going to change again."
In the MX2 class, all eyes were on Mike Alessi - the AMA Motocross star making his GP debut today with high expectations after a qualifying race victory on Friday - but the KTM rider would be forced to wait for his first world championship victory.
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