With the likes of Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed absent through injury, it was Daryl Hurley who surprised by taking victory in a muddy opening round of the 2003/2004 World Supercross GP championship, at Seville, Spain.

New Yamaha signing Mike Brown grabbed the early lead in the main event, but the American's bike stalled, allowing Hurley to hit the front. The Motoworldracing Suzuki rider then turned heads by holding firm for the remainder of the race, leaving KTM's Grant Langston and Suzuki's Tyler Evans to fight over second and third.

"Today was a weird day because I have been sick all week," said Hurley. "I didn't even think I was going to run the race, so I didn't have any pressure. Mike Brown was pressuring me, but I knew I had to save my clutch, so I adjusted it every few corners. This has not even sunk in yet"

Meanwhile reigning 125cc AMA Outdoor champion Langston - tipped as a title favourite after the RC/Reed withdraw - saw his hopes hit by a first turn fall and spent the rest of the race playing catch up.

"I was on the ground, upside down in the first turn, just like a beginner," said Langston. "I'm glad I have my new number, 8, because when I was upside down, everyone could read it! When I would fall tonight, it never hurt; it was really safe. I was more concerned about saving the bike. The World Supercross GP is a major goal of mine"

Evans also had an 'eventful' race, and was just pleased to see the chequered flag.

"By the last lap, I was exhausted," he admitted. "I would not have been able to go one more lap. It's so hard to crash and pick your bike up six times in this mud. I have a lot to prove next year, and I am not going to blow it. This is a great opportunity for the privateers to make a lot of money."

Further back, Voss, Boniface, Povlony, Lozano, Short, Stiles and Oehloff also survived the mud to complete the top ten.

Round two of the series - the final event on European soil before the championship moves to America - will take place at Arnhem, Holland, on Saturday December 13.



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