The third sand race of the season, the Grand Prix of Benelux, once again played into the hands of Belgian riders - and more specifically Stefan Everts - in MX1, while New Zealand's Ben Townley continued his soft surface dominance in MX2.

Both Townley and Everts claimed their second 'double' of the season today, and are now now strong leaders of their respective world championships.

The first MX1 race was probably the more exciting of the season and saw Suzuki's Kevin Strijbos grab the holeshot on his Suzuki ahead of team-mate Joel Smets, Yamaha's Stefan Everts, KTM's Steve Ramon, Honda's Mickael Pichon and Everts' team-mate Cedric Melotte.

Ramon surprised by passing both Smets and Everts in the second lap, then the track began to take its toll as first Smets crashed (losing positions) then Ramon, who dropped behind Everts again.

Meanwhile, Strijbos (middle pic) was till in the lead, but behind him Ramon, Everts and Smets were battling and pushing hard to close the gap; with their quest successful on the seventh lap when Ramon hit the front.

Steve then held the position for seven further laps only to be defeated by Everts in the closing minutes, while his Yamaha team-mate Melotte passed Strijbos in one of the last corners for third. Despite two crashes Smets finished fifth, followed by Pichon, who had a strong race considering his damaged shoulder.

The second race didn't quite live up to the level of the first outing, since Everts took a prompt lead from Strijbos, and the main battle would be for second between the Suzuki rider and Melotte.

Cedric would eventual emerge on top to claim second while Strijbos took his first podium in third ahead of Pichon, Ramon and Smets (who crashed again) both retired.

"I'm in a really good position now in the championship, so I can control the races," stated Everts. "At the moment my main contender is Cedric (Melottee) and in the races today I was in front of him so I could really look at him and slowly come to my rhythm. In the second one I had a better start and could control the race, stay focus on the track and choose the best lines.

"The first race was good, especially for the public as I fight with Joel, then passed Kevin and Steve to win it; the first race was more nice for the fans, but I preferred the second one for my ridding. Yesterday I didn't really enjoy the track, but today it became more bumpy and technical."

"I was pretty mad about the backmarker in the first race but as it turns out fourth was still OK," said Strijbos. "The races were good today. I got the holeshot both times and although I felt tired at the end of the second heat my riding was good enough for this first podium. We are still working on the bike and I am nearly always getting the holeshot so the Suzuki is getting better and better."

Meanwhile Townley simply dominated both MX2 motos, leading from start to finish on his Champ KTM.

In race one he faced strong opposition from team-mate Tyla Rattray, who recovered well from a mid-pack start to finish just two-seconds behind BT. Townley again got the holeshot in race two, and this time Rattray was forced to battle Italian Cairoli for second.

Overall, Rattray and Cairoli finished twice second and third respectively, followed by Patrick Caps (fourth in both races) and Stephen Sword (fifth and sixth) who lost the lead of the series but will be the home favourite in two weeks at the return of a Grand Prix in England.

"I'm really happy to win two races in Holland again, except the first Dutch championship I haven't lost any races here since the beginning of season," said Townley. "I'm pretty happy to get the points lead now. I didn't have so good feeling this week-end, it was not easy to find the good rhythm on this track and it came better in the second race. I found some really good lines, it came rougher and with a better start I was able to make the gap with my rivals."

MX1- Moto 1:
1 Stefan Everts BEL Yamaha
2 Steve Ramon BEL KTM
3 C?dric Melotte BEL Yamaha
4 Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki
5 Jo?l Smets BEL Suzuki
6 Mickael Pichon FRA Honda
7 Joshua Coppins NZL Honda
8 Javier Garcia Vico SPA Honda
9 Christian Burnham GBR KTM
10 Tanel Leok EST Suzuki
MX1- Moto 2:
1 Stefan Everts BEL Yamaha
2 C?dric Melotte BEL Yamaha
3 Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki
4 Mickael Pichon FRA Honda
5 Joshua Coppins NZL Honda
6 Tanel Leok EST Suzuki
7 Javier Garcia Vico SPA Honda
8 Lauris Freibergs LAT Honda
9 Christian Burnham GBR KTM
10 Ken De Dijcker BEL Honda
Sven Breugelmans BEL KTM (DNF)
Steve Ramon BEL KTM (DNF)

World Championship - MX1 after 6 rounds:
1 Stefan Everts BEL Yamaha 268
2 C?dric Melotte BEL Yamaha 230
3 Steve Ramon BEL KTM 184
4 Mickael Pichon FRA Honda 183
5 Joshua Coppins NZL Honda 177
6 Jo?l Smets BEL Suzuki 154
7 Kevin Strijbos BEL Suzuki 150
8 Kenneth Gundersen NOR KTM 133
9 Tanel Leok EST Suzuki 121
10 Javier Garcia Vico SPA Honda 111

MX2 - Moto 1:
1 Ben Townley NZL KTM
2 Tyla Rattray RSA KTM
3 Antonio Cairoli ITA Yamaha
4 Patrick Caps BEL Yamaha
5 Stephen Sword GBR Kawasaki
6 Andrew McFarlane AUS Yamaha
7 Christophe Salaets BEL Honda
8 Alessio Chiodi ITA Yamaha
9 James Dobb GBR Honda
10 Carl Nunn GBR Honda

MX2- Moto 2:
1 Ben Townley NZL KTM
2 Tyla Rattray RSA KTM
3 Antonio Cairoli ITA Yamaha
4 Patrick Caps BEL Yamaha
5 Alessio Chiodi ITA Yamaha
6 Stephen Sword GBR Kawasaki
7 Andrew McFarlane AUS Yamaha
8 David Philippaerts ITA KTM
9 Jonathan Barragan SPA KTM
10 Carl Nunn GBR Honda

World Championship - MX2 after 6 rounds:
1 Ben Townley NZL KTM 244
2 Stephen Sword GBR Kawasaki 228
3 Tyla Rattray RSA KTM 196
4 Andrew McFarlane AUS Yamaha 179
5 Antonio Cairoli ITA Yamaha 154
6 Mickael Maschio FRA Kawasaki 124
7 Mark De Reuver NEL KTM 121
8 James Dobb GBR Honda 120
9 Carl Nunn GBR Honda 113
10 Aigar Leok EST KTM 111


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