Ten times Motocross world champion Stefan Everts closed a record-breaking career with his 14th victory from the 15 2006 grands prix, at the season ending event at Ernee, France.

The 33-year-old Belgian scooped his 101st and final victory with two double triumphs watched and applauded by 17,000 appreciative spectators. The masses acknowledged a special chapter in motocross history as Everts took to the podium for the final occasion after an 18-year stint at the highest level.

The Ernee circuit had dried significantly after lengthy spells of rain on Friday led towards the practice programme being shortened on Saturday in the interests of preserving the terrain. Sunday witnessed blue sky and sunshine for the first time in three days and the hill-side track was a slippery and rough test with many ruts chopping the corners and jump take-offs.

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Steering his YZ450FM with a new colour scheme that involved a chequered flag design inscribed with his 100 grand prix victories, as well as a set of white painted Pirelli tyres, Everts pulled away from Jonathan Barragan in the first moto for a comfortable victory as main rivals Mickael Pichon, who took pole position on his own GP farewell, and Josh Coppins, the only rider other than Everts to win a grand prix this season, both fell.

"Mickael broke his nose and he may have some concussion but he is still at the hospital," said KTM team manager Georges Jobe. "I saw the crash and it was really bad. He jumped off the bike and landed face-first on the ground. The helmet pushed up and broke his nose it seemed."

Coppins was more fortunate and recovered to sixth - leaving Kevin Strijbos to complete the race one podium.

The second race was a similar walkover and Everts had a lead of more than ten seconds by the end of the first third of the sprint. Stefan then held that advantage over Coppins to the flag, with Tanel Leok third. In the final championship standings, Strijbos took a distant second behind Everts with Suzuki team-mate Steve Ramon third, CAS Honda's Ken de Dycker fourth and Kawasaki's Leok fifth.

After taking the chequered flag for the final time at a grand prix, Everts - wearing special white Acerbis gear with large sections of shiny gold befitting his status as the king of the sport - completed a victory lap and then enjoyed a lengthy podium ceremony with his world championship peers gathered around in celebration.

From this season's 15 grands prix, Everts has won 14 and 27 motos, 22 of which he clinched in a row. He also recorded 8 pole positions and posted 739 points from a possible maximum of 750. His lowest result was a third position taken in the first moto at Bellpuig for the Grand Prix of Spain.

"It wasn't such a difficult race. I really wanted to enjoy this day and try to capture a lot of things that I can remember later about the weekend," reflected Everts. "It has been a great GP and Yamaha and Team Rinaldi have made some really nice surprises. To go into retirement with a victory here at my last grand prix is wonderful. Just before the second race I was getting emotional when the 15 second board went up. I said to myself for the last time I am going to go for it and enjoy it.

"It has been a great year and an awesome ride. I could not have expected such a record with 14 out of 15 GPs. I think Japan was the best; I have never won a GP so easy. The Yamaha this year is for sure one of the best bikes I have ridden. When I got the new 450 last October I immediately felt that I could step up my level and speed, but I was not expecting to win this many races. Thanks again to the team and to everyone around me who has supported me."

"Every time it is harder to make some comment about these fantastic races. I have to admit that I had some doubt before today because I saw Stefan mentally tired in Lierop, but I do not know where he found the resolve and the energy to make two very good starts and easy motos," admitted Yamaha Intur Sports racing manager Carlo Rinaldi. "He was pushing just enough to win again twice. It is sad to make a farewell for him but we are very proud of our history and our record over the last six years. This is the best way to say goodbye to him and for him to say goodbye to motocross."

"Stefan is going to stop his career while still winning races and this is something unbelievable for sportsmen because you do not see this often, in any sport not just motocross," added team manager Michele Rinaldi. "Motocross is a hard sport with many good riders but we did not expect a season like this."

"It is difficult to comment because it is hard to take in what has happened today," stated Yamaha Motor Europe racing manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. "It is the end of an era of a very special rider."

Everts will now captain Team Belgium at Matterley Basin for the 60th Motocross of Nations next week for his last major international event.

Meanwhile, the MX2 class saw a new champion crowned as home star Christophe Pourcel's large pre-event points lead over 2005 champion Antonio Cairoli proved enough to hand the young Kawasaki star his first world title.

But Cairoli fought to the bitter end, Beating Pourcel to win race one, before the pair battled tooth and nail for supremacy in race two - passing each other five times - but drama followed as Pourcel fell, handing the lead and potentially the championship to Cairoli. Fortunately for the Frenchman, he was able to restart his Kawasaki in fifth position, before fighting back to fourth by the chequered flag.

Cairoli won the grand prix with perfect 1-1 results, with KTM's David Philippaerts second overall and Christophe Pourcel third.

"My first race start was not so great but I got up to third, and then second when Philippaerts made a mistake. I pushed for a few laps to close the gap to Cairoli, but he didn't give up and I choose to save my energy for the next heat," explained Christophe. "We started race two together at the front and had a great battle, until I made a mistake. I was leading the race but in a rut the bike hit a neutral and I crashed. I had some trouble restarting the bike but I stayed clam, even if it was more difficult for my team members!

"My front brake was damaged but I could battle again with Nunn and Philippaerts, I nearly passed (Philippaerts) in the last corner for third spot. I didn't want to just score a few points, I really wanted to win this race. I think it was less dangerous to race like this instead of calculating, it was better for my concentration. I really enjoyed our battle with Antonio Cairoli, it was fun for us both! We know each other pretty well and I've a lot of respect for him, he tried to destabilize me but that's normal, I would have done the same!

"Now my next goal is the Motocross of Nations, I raced against (AMA Motocross Lites champion) Villopoto earlier in my career and I'm ready for this race. Then I will go for ten days in Japan, where I will visit the factory and race the final round of the Japan Championship, and from there I will go to the US where I will stay until February. I will just come back in Europe to race Bercy Supercross in November, Cairoli will be there and that will be nice," he revealed.

Behind Pourcel and Cairoli in the final championship standings was Philippaerts, who took third ahead of factory KTM team-mates Tyla Rattray, Marc de Reuver and Carl Nunn.