Stefan Everts writes history winning the Six Days Author: Date: 8/11/2003
Fortaleza (Ceará, Brazil) – Belgian Stefan Everts has not only beaten motocross records all the season – he managed also to win the ISDE 2003, at his first time participating an international enduro race. The Seven times world motocross champion conquered the title at the pilots overall classification at the International Six Days Enduro, finishing with a “supermotard” race this Saturday in Fortaleza, Ceará, in the northeast region of Brazil. The event gathered 376 riders from more than 30 countries and is being considered as one of the best editions in history.
287 pilots could finish the event.
“I’m very proud for having won the first enduro race in my career, specially when it is the Six Days” said Stefan that only practiced “lightly for the event. “I have only practiced changing tyres all by myself. I didn’t want people to laugh at me” said the Belgian rider.
Still in overall individual classification, second place went to Australian Stefan Merriman, 42”25 behind Everts. Juha Salminen from Finland was third with a difference of 1’33”41. Everts and Salminen duelled like giants in an exciting race under more than 30 degrees heat. Fighting for each meter in the supermotard track, the riders changed places several times but in the end Everts won.
Riders participating in the last day of the Six Days, raced a total of ten heats, that were divided by categories, with seven laps in a track measuring 1800 meters, mixing asphalt and dirt stretches. The supermotard race was an innovation for the Six Days participants and a gift to the public of Brazil, where supermotard is still little known.
In 125cc. 2-strokes, Portuguese Helder Rodrigues (KTM) was the winner. In 250cc. 2-strokes, Stefan Merriman ( Honda) guaranteed first place. Peter Bergvall from Sweden will go back home with the title in category 250 4-strokes (Yamaha) and Everts in 400 cc. 4-strokes (Yamaha). Spanish Ivan Cervantes (KTM) finished first in category 500 cc. 4-strokes.
But most important, the ISDE is a team competition of the participating countries. The World Trophy winner is like last year again Finland, followed by the teams of Italy, France, Spain and Australia, to complete the list of the first five. In the Junior Trophy (riders under 23 years) France won in front of Finland, Italy and Sweden.
Donato Khouri, Six Days Clerk of the Course and member of the Confederação Brasileira de Motociclismo (CBM) evaluated the event:”The first day was very difficult, which is normal. After all, the event was getting its rhythm quick. The second day was very sad, when british team rider Matt Bowden died on the track, and several accidents keeping the Medical Team busy. Day three, four and five however worked perfect. And the last day, traditionally serving with a final motocross race, proved that it is possible to revolutionize even events like the Six Days: The first time, there was a supermotard race final, with exciting disputes changing between dirt tracks and asphalt. And Brazil provoked an revolution to na event that will have its 79th.edition in Poland in 2004” he said.
Entrepeneur Franco Acerbis from Acerbis Italy, main sponsor, promotor and co-organizer of the Six Days 2003, spoke about a motivating comment he received to evaluate this years edition in brazil: ”The United States team told me that there will be a great problem: How to make future Six Days still better after this Brazilian edition? A Six Days without people’s enthusiasm is not the Six Days. And here in Brazil there was plenty of it. Brazil opened the opportunity for riders all over the world to learn about a new country”.
Franco Acerbis, beeing in love with motorcycles and producing offroad equipment since more than 30 years now, is also very pleased about the brazilian organisation staff. ”I love the people’s enthusiastic work. A lot of them spent their vacations to work as voluntaries for the Six Days organisation. Also the Police worked very reliable” he said, well experienced after already having organized the Incas Rally in Peru five times, and the Nevada Rally around Las Vegas (USA).
The International Six Days Enduro is organized and produced by the Confederação Brasileira de Motociclismo (CBM), Moto Clube Bergamo and Adventure Eventos. Supervision is by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM). Sponsorship is by Acerbis, Pirelli, Petrobras and the Ceará Government and co-sponsorship is by TAM Viagens, Ypioca and Cachaça Museun. Support by KTM, Honda, Husqvarna, Hapvida, hotel Beach Park and 360 Graus website (www.360graus.com.br).