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WMXSeptember 14, 2003
Motocross Championship, Round 12,
Venue ø Ernee, France

Two MXGP podiums for Honda at historic season finale in France

Honda rounded off the 2003 FIM Motocross World Championships in style at Ernee for the Acerbis Grand Prix of France today by claiming two podium positions in the twelfth and final round of the MXGP classification. Stefan Everts stole the headlines by becoming the first rider ever to win all three motos on the same day.

The Belgian secured his ninth consecutive MXGP victory but was chased by Brian Jorgensen on the 450cc four-stroke and Josh Coppins on the 250cc four-stroke under hot and sunny conditions in northern France. Both riders started well and were soon promoted to the top three after Joel Smets crashed once more in a GP while holding second place. The 650 World Champion dropped down the order and left the Dane and New Zealander relatively untroubled. Coppins suffered two minor slips that blunted any chance of commencing a scrap for the runner-up spot and had to fend off a late challenge from Patrick Caps to make sure of his second podium of the year.

Tiscali Honda rider Jorgensen took his third consecutive podium in the MXGP class (four in total) and now finishes as the highest placed Honda representative in the Championship, having confirmed his final status in fourth. Yoshitaka Atsuta passed the chequered flag a dependable tenth and scoops that same standing in the classification having taken points in all 12 races. Gordon Crockard was once again riding injured and determinedly persisted while in obvious discomfort to finish 12th and 11th overall despite missing five races.

Stefan Everts began a hard days work with a straightforward win in the opening race of the day, the 125cc GP. Steve Ramon claimed KTM's third 125cc title in four years and also completed Belgium's clean sweep of World Championship honours this year when he finished fifth but had enough points to secure the crown. Main contender Andrea Bartolini crashed on the first lap and could only work his way up to 10th. Despite a strong showing in yesterday's qualification heat Thomas Traversini was Honda's top rider in 16th. Yamaha enjoyed a clean sweep of the podium when Alessio Chiodi gained his second top three result of the year on the four-stroke with second and Luigi Seguy tasted champagne for the first time in over a year taking his 125cc two-stroke to third.

Cedric Melotte was denied his seventh podium of the term in the 650 class when he was passed by Joel Smets late in the moto. The Belgian went on to take fourth after Smets recovered brilliantly from a race crash that saw him as low as 20th. Melotte takes third place overall in the class after his most successful season ever. Everts, despite a small slip that let Javier Garcia Vico lead for several laps, went on to ink his name into another MX archive with his third triumph of the afternoon.

Motocross Championship, Round 12,
Venue ø Ernee, France

1 Stefan Everts (Yamaha)
2 Brian Jorgensen (Honda)
3 Joshua Coppins (Honda)
4 Patrick Caps (KTM)
5 Kevin Strijbos (Suzuki)
6 Marnicq Bervoets (Yamaha)
10 Yoshitaka Atsuta (Honda)
12 Gordon Crockard (Honda)
1 Stefan Everts (Yamaha)
2 Alessio Chiodi (Yamaha)
3 Luigi Seguy (Yamaha)
4 Tyla Rattray (KTM)
5 Steve Ramon (KTM)
6 Ben Townley (KTM)

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