After being beaten for the first time this season one week ago in Northern Ireland, retiring ten times world champion Stefan Everts bounced back to take his 100th grand prix victory on Sunday in the Netherlands.
The Yamaha star, beaten by Josh Coppins at Desertmartin, took pole position then dominated both motos in the deep Lierop sand to claim his thirteenth victory of the season.
Coppins was again Everts' nearest rival in both races, briefly leading both races before being promptly passed by the flying Belgian. The CAS Honda rider went on to finish second in both races, but was a massive 43secs and 37secs behind the unstoppable #72.
Everts, who wrapped up his final world title at Namur two rounds earlier, celebrated his amazing century of wins - 43 more than the next most successful rider Joel Smets and clinched in an 18 year career stretching back to 1989 - by punching the air before being mobbed by his delighted team, family and friends.
"There is not much left to win now, maybe just the Motocross of Nations!" smiled Stefan, referring to the end of season team event. "This has been a tough little period for me. Mentally I have been a bit 'done' and physically it has been hard. Last week was a hard race; Josh said that the riders can learn from me physically but he was very strong in Ireland also so he is right there also.
"Anyway, it has been a long way to this 100th GP win. I started in 1989 and now we are in 2006, so that is eighteen years to try and win 100 GPs; it has been a long road. Counting from one to ten in terms of titles can take some time, but one to one hundred is something else. I am so, so happy, thanks to everyone who has supported me."
"We have run out of adjectives for this season!" added Yamaha Intur Sports racing manager Carlo Rinaldi. "Stefan's achievement was unbelievable and the way he won today was excellent; he was riding far above the level of the others. Mentally and physically he is a little bit exhausted but his skill on the sand allowed him to win today. He dominated both motos and was just perfect all day."
Everts later received a special certificate and t-shirt from the FIM to mark his 100th victory, while fellow Belgian Steve Ramon joined Everts and Coppins for the podium celebrations after 3-5 finishes.
In MX2, Christophe Pourcel brought his first world title another step closer by taking his second victory of the season – and maintaining his 28 point lead over defending champion Antonio Cairoli after both scored identical moto finishes.
Cairoli took a clear victory over Desertmartin winner Tyla Rattray in race one, with Pourcel third, before the Kawasaki rider turned the tables with an even bigger victory over Rattray in race two, in which Yamaha mounted Cairoli was third.
The fifteenth and final round of the 2006 world championship will take place in two weeks time at the Grand Prix of France.