Everts on Cairoli – Interview
Legends of the sport are always proud, maybe even selfish men. Putting their career in the first place, ahead of anything else. Greatness doesn’t come easy, and all great sportsmen, give 100% in everything they do. For me as a fan, watching Stefan Everts, or Antonio Cairoli do what they do makes it worthwhile going to the motocross.
What Antonio Cairoli did in Trento a couple of weeks ago, it was one of those days when you are glad you follow this amazing sport. His come from behind victory made me remember another legendary performance by the GOAT of MXGP, Stefan Everts. Back in 2004 Everts had started badly in the Grand Prix of Namur. It was muddy, and conditions were going to make it tough to come through.
Anyone who knows Namur, knows it isn’t a track you can pass, even more so than Trentino two weeks ago.
Covered in mud, and fighting his way through the pack, Everts had found a line in the trees, a part of the track on one of the treacherous down-hill sections at the Citadel. One by one he picked off the riders in front, each lap getting one after the other in that section, until he had done enough to win the Grand Prix.
I can’t think of too many other moments when a rider did such a thing, which makes the Antonio Cairoli performance in Trentino all the more special.
We caught up with Everts and asked him about the AC222 performance, and how he feels about the Italian legends.
MXlarge: First, the Grand Prix at Trentino. The performance of Antonio, what a piece of brilliance. How did you see it?
Everts: You can see what a great racer he is, an intelligent rider. He saw that Strijbos made that pass and he picked it up straight away. Strijbos had passed Butron in the same place, and Antonio was right behind him. At that moment, he knew that is where it was going to happen. He set himself up I think as early as the finish line, to make that pass there.
MXLarge: I remember you having a similar thing at Namur back around 2004?
Everts: Yes, it reminded me of my passing in the mud at Namur, before the steep downhill. You know before you get to that spot, that you know you will get them, and it’s a fantastic feeling.
MXlarge: Namur, it was a special day, can you remember many special days like that, or other riders doing that. I mean not only coming through the pack, but have that special place to do it. I mean the riders he passed probably didn’t know he was going to pass there, because most of them didn’t see his previous passes in that spot.
Everts: Those type of days, they don’t happen that often in your career. I had a few super days, and I think this is one of his super days, where he can come from so far behind and nobody could do anything. He was also fast, first he had to catch them, then he had to pass them. I only really remember Namur as doing it in a single spot. I remember passing Demaria in the last turn of a race to win the GP.
MXLarge: When you think about yourself and Antonio, both having the two years of injury, and ok, the injuries you had were worse than what Antonio has had, but still, any injury that can slow you down, or put you out completely can ruin a complete season, or even a career. Coming back, everyone said you wouldn’t come from your injuries, and I still remember standing on top of the hill at Bellpuig in Spain as you crossed the finish line to win your first GP in a long time, and thinking, ok Stefan is back. How though is it to come back from two years of injury, as Antonio has also had in 2015 and 2016?
Everts: You know, it was not so tough. I knew what I had to change and what I had to do, and I did that and it did come good. It’s difficult to know how it is for Antonio. I know in the middle of the 1990s and I was working so hard and I couldn’t get it right, in those years against Albertyn, it’s very frustrating when you can’t find the answer. With that comeback in 2001 it worked out good, and when I was at my lowest point, probably in Grobbendonk on the Husky, I knew what I needed to do. It worked out for me and I came back strong.
MXlarge: You are the greatest of all time, statistics tell us that, but Antonio is tapping you on the shoulder, and his form is good. How is that, because you are a man of great pride, as is Antonio, but you are also a fan, so to watch him doing what he is doing, that must also be enjoyable, or not?
Everts: I enjoy watching Tony, he has been off for a few years due to injury or other problems. He is back, it’s like the old Cairoli, also in Qatar you could see it there. It’s good to have that competition from Tim, it’s going to be a tough battle this year, between those two, and he is working hard for it, and if he gets the record I can only congratulated him. It would hurt me a little of course, because I want to be the best ever, but records are there to be broken. You have to accept it, I have no problem if Tony is the guy to beat my record, because I have a lot of respect for him, and he has a lot of respect for what I did.
MXlarge: Talking about respect. I remember when you equalled the record of Joel Robert in Namur, I think in 2001, and Joel was on the podium with you. Obviously, you had known Joel since you were a little kid and he is also Belgian, so maybe that made it easier for him, but did that teach you a good lesson in how to react if it happened to you?
Everts: You know, you get older and you learn to deal with things and maybe some things are less important.
MXlarge: It is less important to you?
Everts: At the moment no, but we will see if it happens, how I will be. It’s still a long way for Tony to go, he is on eight, so he would need to win three to beat it, so there are some years to go before he could do it. But you never know.
Ray Archer image
This past week, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen returned to Vail, Colorado’s Steadman Clinic for the 11th and final surgery on his left arm, which was injured in a crash at Anaheim 2 on January 21. Over the course of several hours, Dr. Randall Viola inserted cadaver cartilage into Roczen’s elbow, a procedure that is expected to ultimately give the arm full range of motion. During the operation, Viola also spent time cleaning out scar tissue from the affected area. It’s estimated that Roczen’s arm should be able to bear weight within six to eight weeks.
With the long surgery process finally behind him, Roczen will soon be traveling to his native Germany on vacation, and he will continue to do physical therapy during that trip.
‘I’m really happy to have this last surgery out of the way,” Roczen said. “They got the cadaver piece earlier than expected, which is awesome because that was the last piece of the puzzle. Now I can really focus on recovery without having to worry about any other surgery. Other than that, things are going well. I’m excited to be going to Germany for the first time in a few years to vacation with family and take my fiancé for her first time. I’ll still be doing physical therapy while there and then will be hitting it hard when we’re back.”
Russell charges to victory at GNCC Racing Camp Coker
Photo Credit: Ken Hill
Kailub Russell wins CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC as Josh Toth claims fifth XC2 250 Pro victory of the season.
The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship, continued today, April 23, with the second annual CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC.
At the conclusion of the seven-lap race it was FMF/KTM Factory Racing's Kailub Russell who took home the win in Society Hill, South Carolina.
Rockstar Energy/Factory Husqvarna Racing's Josh Strang jumped out to the early lead grabbing his third $250 All Balls Racing Holeshot Award of the year. N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha's Ricky Russell accompanied Strang as they headed out of the first turn.
Strang's teammate, Thad Duvall, also got off to a favourable start and made his way to the lead position by the two-mile mark. Duvall continued charging where he began to pull a gap on Strang and R Russell.
R Russell made the pass for second on the Camp Coker motocross track, and by this time K Russell wasn't far behind the podium contenders. Strang would also lose another position in the sand rollers to K Russell who was moving through the pack quick. By the conclusion of the second lap K Russell sat in second while Duvall maintained control of the lead.
Duvall and K Russell maintained a consistent 20 second gap between themselves on the second lap, while R Russell found himself in a heated battle with Beta USA's Jordan Ashburn. Before long, SRT/KTM's Steward Baylor also found himself in the mix with R Russell and Ashburn.
R Russell succumbd to the pressure of Ashburn in the final second of the moto track. With a semi-clear path, Ashburn began to separate himself from Baylor who now rode in fourth.
K Russell began to gain on Duvall around the mid-way point of the race after the dup both stopped for a regular pit stop. With much of the focus on Duvall and K Russell, Baylor managed to slide his way into a podium position and begin to make up for lost time.
Once the two-lap board was out, Duvall and K Russell were rubbing plastic as they approached the pro pits. K Russell made the pass for the lead, but pulled in his pit for a splash of gas, while Duvall neglected to stop where he took back over the lead.
With only four miles remaining in the race, K Russell stole the lead away from Duvall. After leading the past six laps, Duvall didn't stop the fight until disaster struck and he ran out of gas on the motocross track. A KTM crew member was quick to help Duvall and he was back on-track before Baylor could catch up.
Duvall rode the next mile until approaching his team members who gave him another quick fill up to get him through the rest of the course. After following Duvall the whole race, K Russell crossed the finish line in a champion fashion, taking his fourth-straight overall win. Duvall and Baylor rounded out the overall podium.
As a result of a rule violation, the overall results from today are provisional and pending approval of additional evidence. R Russell had his best finish of the season where he finished just off the podium in fourth. After getting the holeshot, Strang rounded out the top-five overall.
"It was a good day, I just wasn't flowing at the beginning, those guys gapped me in the first lap and a half and once I got to second I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me, but I just put my head down and kept charging," said K Russell. "I went to work all day, chipped away at it and never gave up. Thad was riding well so it's going to be an interesting rest of the season for sure. These guys are keeping me on my toes and making me strive a little harder so it's time to raise the bar again and it's time to get better.”
XC2 — Toth remains unbeaten
The XC2 250 Pro division saw some of the closest racing action all day. In the end it would be the N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha rider Josh Toth taking his fifth win of the season.
Solid Performance KTM's Jesse Groemm made his way back to the podium in second, and Coastal Racing/Husqvarna's Craig Delong worked his way from outside the top ten to round out the overall podium in third.
XC3 — Thomas breaks Edmondson’s win streak
The FMF XC3 125 Pro-Am class podium had a shake-up with Jason Thomas taking the top spot on the box. Thomas excelled under pressure from Coastal Racing/Husqvarna and current points leader Jack Edmondson who had to settle for second. SRT/KTM's Mark Heresco Jr. followed in third.
Cody Barnes finished 23rd overall along with his 250 A class win, a result that was good enough to earn him the top amateur honours.
The WXC class made a clean sweep for the overall podium in the 10 a.m. race. Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/KR4/Husqvarna's Tayla Jones remains undefeated with five wins. Fly Racing/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM's Becca Sheets and Trail Jesters/KTM's Mackenzie Tricker rounded out the overall podium.
The first race of the day was the 8 a.m. youth division where Zack Davidson took his fifth-straight overall win after chasing down Peyton Whipkey who finished second. Super Mini Jr. (12-13) class winner Michael Beeler Jr. followed with third overall.
The 2017 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series resumes May 6 and 7 with the inaugural X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana.
CST Tires Camp Coker Bullet GNCC, Round 5 of 13
XC1 Open Pro Event Results
1 Kailub Russell (KTM)
2 Thad Duvall (HSQ)
3 Steward Baylor (KTM)
4 Ricky Russell (YAM)
5 Josh Strang (HSQ)
6 Jordan Ashburn (BET)
7 Grant Baylor (HSQ)
8 Russell Bobbitt (KTM)
9 Ryan Sipes (HSQ)
10 Trevor Bollinger (HON)
The great thing about International Old Timers motocross is the people it attracks. This group of grandfathers came from all over the west, Colorado, California, Washington and Wyoming. They came to have fun, see old friends and race the 2017 Nevada IOTMX National in Fernley, NV.. What better way for senior citizens to spend their weekends.
Motocross Athlete to attempt longest motorcycle jump at Talladega
Monster Energy is at it again. As the Corona, California-based company has done throughout the entire 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, they will take things to another level when professional motocross athlete Alex Harvill sets out to fly far beyond the Guinness World Record® (GWR) for longest jump at Talladega Superspeedway - NASCAR's biggest and most outrageous track. The attempt on the infamous track infield is scheduled to take place on May 7 just moments before the command to start engines at the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race airing live on FOX at 2:00 p.m. EST. Tickets can be purchased to see the world record jump attempt and for the GEICO 500 at 1-877-GO2-DEGA or online at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.