Reigning MX1 and MX2 world champions Stefan Everts and Antonio Cairoli took respective class victories in the Grand Prix of South Africa, at Sun City.

For nine-times world title holder Everts it was very much a case of 'business as usual' as he kept his perfect 2006 record intact by notching up his tenth victory of the season in dominant fashion.

Everts started moto one in third place and needed a circulation to gently ease his way past countryman Steve Ramon and then holeshotter Josh Coppins. With a customary clear track stretching ahead, Everts began to work and pulled out a lead of five seconds over his Honda rival in a matter of minutes. His 18th consecutive moto victory was then a formality and he only had to worry about the backmarkers which was a tough task in itself. Ramon collected third, five second from Coppins.

The second outing was almost a carbon-copy and Everts crossed the line almost five seconds ahead of the New Zealander - who will replace him at Yamaha next season - with Suzuki star Ramon once again third.

The eighth double of 2006 represented Everts' first triumph on African soil and means that his lead in the standings has increased to 136 points. In theory, his tenth world championship could now be won in the fairytale setting at Namur, Belgium during the first week of August. The Yamaha star also now needs just three more GP victories to reach a magical and all-time record total of 100 career wins before retiring at the end of this year.

"I am a bit surprised myself at how I can win so many GPs, and maybe in a few years time I will look back at what I have done so far and realise the achievement," said Stefan. "I have also never won ten in a row, nine was the most; so that is a personal record. I have never won in South Africa before so that also was special. I did not wave to the crowd on the last lap this time! I came here with a positive outlook after two years of bad luck and it really worked out today."

Meanwhile, the 25,300 local fans' best hope of a home win rested with KTM's Tyla Rattray in MX2. The South African gained pole position by winning the first qualification heat on Saturday and the 20 year old then engaged in a juicy first moto duel with team-mate David Philippaerts that saw the pair circulating closely for the lead.

Rattray tried to pull away but Philippaerts studied the lines of his fellow 250 SX-F rider and another confrontation led to one or two fraught moments with the duo almost colliding. Despite a last lap attempt by Rattray, Philippaerts held strong for his sixth moto win of the season with Cairoli taking third.

Another factory KTM rider, Briton Carl Nunn took the hole shot in the second moto while both Philippaerts and Rattray had work to do on the opening laps. The Italian unfortunately saw a fourth GP win go up in smoke when he crashed while trying to overtake Billy Mackenzie and smashed his rear wheel. He could only clock another half a dozen laps before he was unable to continue due to the wheel's condition deteriorating.

Meanwhile, Nunn led for the first half of the race before being passed by Cairoli, who went on to dominate the moto and claim his long overdue first GP win of the season.

"For sure I am very happy about this win because for many GPs I have been close to victory but one mistake has cost me dear," he said. "I managed to take one moto in the past but then finished too far back in the other. It is the first time I have won in South Africa. I had some trouble with the radiator guard in the first moto after I jumped off the track; it was difficult to balance and I lost a lot of time. It was a fast race so I thought about the points. I really liked the track because the mud was softer this year and there were many jumps."

Nunn was demoted to a third in race two after being passed by Rattray, but the South African was unable to catch Cairoli and was forced to settle for second overall.

"I did not feel any pressure today and it was fun racing in front of the South African crowd, they were going crazy around the back of the circuit and I really enjoyed it," said Tyla. "It was nice to race with Toni and David for the lead and give the fans a show. In the second moto Toni made some good laps and he was just a little bit fitter than me. I will be working hard over these next two weeks so that I can come out at Loket and take a win again. I am quite far behind in the Championship but we still have a lot of races to go and anything can happen."

Cairoli and Rattray were joined on the end of day podium by Nunn, who finished one place ahead of Kawasaki's world championship leader Christophe Pourcel in both race two and the overall classification.

Pourcel had a poor first moto, finishing tenth, and leaves South Africa with his points lead reduced to 32 over Cairoli.



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