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WMXJuly 20, 2003
World Motocross Championship, Round 8,
Venue - Citadelle Circuit, Namur, Belgium

Unlucky day for CAS Honda, Lifted by Melotte Success at Citadelle

Honda once again had to look to the 650 category for their podium results at the FIM Motocross World Championships as the CAS factory set-up did not enjoy the luckiest of outings in round eight of the 2003 world series at Namur in Belgium today.

The temperature had dropped by several degrees and the distinctive enduro-esque course looping its way around the Citadelle mount in the town centre was lined with enthusiastic spectators getting their fill of Motocross racing unlike any other GP on the calendar.

Belgian Cedric Melotte produced a tremendous performance to clinch his first ever GP victory and debut winner's trophy for Honda in the senior class. The Namur local held off the challenge of Spaniard Javier Garcia Vico (KTM) after a mistake by leader Joel Smets (KTM). Smets crashed and dropped back some distance in third. The sight of Melotte scoring a fairytale GP success drove the fans to fever pitch with many invading the track during the last lap, the noise level around the podium ceremony even eclipsing that of fellow Belgian Stefan Everts' (Yamaha) moment of glory winning both the MXGP and 125cc races.

"I never believed I could win here," said the elated 24-year-old Melotte. "The race was really difficult and I pushed 110% in the last few laps so that I wouldn't lose the lead. I felt very fast today and Joel's crash certainly helped. The end of the race was crazy! There were many people on the track and I really hoped they would not cause me to crash! I suffered with some arm-pump and nerves in my stomach, I had to back off and try to be smooth but when I came up onto the last few corners I crossed the line and thought 'Unbelievable'. I have such good support in my life and with my team and it has been showing in my riding this year. I have to give thanks to everyone who has helped me, especially Honda and the team."

Smets still leads the standings by 23 points over Vico, followed by Melotte who has now closed the gap to just 30.

World Motocross Championship, Round 8,
Venue - Citadelle Circuit, Namur, Belgium

1 Stefan Everts (Yamaha)
2 Joel Smets (KTM)
3 Mickael Pichon (Suzuki)
4 Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha)
5 James Dobb (KTM)
6 Andrew Mcfarlane (Kawasaki)
9 Joshua Coppins (Honda)
18 Yoshitaka Atsuta (Honda)
29 Gordon Crockard (Honda)
Joshua Coppins
Joshua Coppins
1 Stefan Everts (Yamaha)
2 Steve Ramon (KTM)
3 Andrea Bartolini (Yamaha)
4 Tyla Rattray (KTM)
5 Mickael Maschio (Kawasaki)
6 Stephen Sword (KTM)

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