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WMXNetherlandApril 25, 2004
2004 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 4
Grand Prix of Holland - Valkenswaard

Everts wins in Dutch sand as Pichon accepts 4th overall

Stefan Everts won his second MX1 Grand Prix of the season this afternoon at Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, round four of sixteen in the 2004 campaign. For the first time this season sunshine and warm temperatures blessed both days of action with not a drop of rain in sight. 15,500 fans crowded into the Dutch curvatures, a short distance away from the city of Eindhoven.

After taking his fourth consecutive pole position on Saturday it was a tough day for Tiscali Honda rider Mickael Pichon. The Frenchman was fighting for second place in the first MX1 moto when a heavy crash left him dazed and relegated him to fourth behind Joel Smets on the four stroke Suzuki, Everts and opening race winner Cedric Melotte (Yamaha). In the second event of 35minutes and two laps he suffered from a lack of energy and again was passed by Smets as the order remained the same aside from Everts overtaking his Yamaha team mate to secure the overall success. Pichon accordingly was placed fourth by the end of the activities.

CAS man Josh Coppins went over the bars of his Honda CR450f negotiating the first jump on the second lap, an incident that dropped him down the field into the low 20’s. The New Zealander began a comeback charge but another rendezvous with the sand and a subsequent injury to his right hand, as well as damage to the four stroke 450f machine, forced his retirement. In the second race he produced a trademark consistent performance to take fifth.

Yoshitaka Atsuta claimed two 11th positions to settle 9th in the final standings table. Mickael Pichon’s team-mate Brian Jorgensen missed the meeting after going through minor surgery on a troublesome left wrist. He has been back in training and is expected to be part of the gate for the next GP at Teutschenthal in just seven days time.

RTT Honda’s Carl Nunn was the top Honda man in the MX2 category and equalled his best GP finish this season with 7th overall thanks to positions of 9th and 5th. In the first moto, Nunn, the young Brit, was passed by factory Kawasaki rider Mickael Maschio in the final stages of the race, a move that relegated the 24 year old to 9th. He then produced a splendid effort in the second event, starting strongly and running inside the top five (and reaching 4th for five laps) for two thirds of the distance. Nunn now also lies 7th in the World Championship. RWJ Honda’s Jamie Dobb had an unhappy weekend. The former 125cc World Champ was struggling for fitness after a being stricken with the flu during the week. A heavy crash in race two enforced his first DNF of the year.

The overall win was earned by Ben Townley on the KTM 250 ahead of South African Tyla Rattray on the 125cc Austrian machine. Alessio Chiodi was third for Yamaha, taking his first podium result of the year.

Pichon is now 4th in the World Championship standings, some 49 points behind Everts. Jorgensen has slipped to 12th through his absence and Coppins’s non-score in the first moto means that he surrenders fifth place to KTM’s Kenneth Gundersen.

The fifth round of the series occurs next weekend with the Grand Prix of Germany at Teutschenthal.

Mickael Pichon
"I should not be saying this because I always want to do better but I am happy with fourth today. I felt it was the best I could do because I have felt tired all week and just could not push. I have been doing races in the French Championship and with the GPs various meetings for eight weeks in a row now and that is a lot after six months off the bike. I did not sleep well this week and I felt the effects of the start of the year out on the track. I did not know why I crashed. I went into the turn and was close to Stefan, maybe he flicked a stone under my wheel because I lost the bike without any warning. I’m content to come away with the points but I should be doing better with the bike and the team I have. I am always quite fast in the chrono and proved that last year on the 250. Maybe I should not take pole position for a change; maybe then I’ll win some races!"

Josh Coppins
"It wasn’t a great weekend; I just haven’t ridden very well. I struggled a little bit to find a rhythm and be smooth on the bike. A DNF and 5th was not really what I wanted. After qualifying I sensed that it definitely wasn’t going to come easily. In the first race I crashed twice and damaged my hand and the bike. I didn’t start that well and I just pushed too hard too early. After the first fall I was then too excited to make up positions and fell again. The second race was a lot better but I was still not on the pace of the front guys where I wanted to be so I am a bit disappointed."

Yoshitaka Atsuta
"My goal is top ten results every GP and I am getting closer. I was really sad not to take tenth in the second moto but I did not get the signal that someone was close and backed off slightly thinking maybe it was Stefan Everts coming through. Freibergs put me back to 11th right at the finish. My speed was OK this weekend but I did have a crash in practice yesterday. I do not have good memories of this track after the fall that broke my leg in 2002 so I have to be happy with points today."

Carl Nunn
"Today was good. I am taking results according to the plan I had for this stage of the season so I am happy. I was so tired in the second race and could not give anymore but I was disappointed to lose fourth after running that high for a good portion of the moto. My goal is to be top Honda rider in the World Championship; it is important for me and obviously important to them."
2004 FIM Motocross World Championship Round 4
Grand Prix of Holland - Valkenswaard


MX1 - Race 1 Result
4 PICHON Mickael (Honda)
6 DE DIJCKER Ken (Honda)
7 RAMON Steve (KTM)
9 BURNHAM Christian (KTM)
11 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Honda)
13 LEOK Tanel (SUZUKI)
14 FREIBERGS Lauris (Honda)

MX1 - Race 2 Result
4 PICHON Mickael (Honda)
5 COPPINS Joshua (Honda)
8 RAMON Steve (KTM)
9 DE DIJCKER Ken (Honda)
10 FREIBERGS Lauris (Honda)
11 ATSUTA Yoshitaka (Honda)
12 LEOK Tanel (SUZUKI)
13 KOVALAINEN Marko (Honda)
PICHON Mickael
PICHON Mickael (Honda)


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