Everts and Simpson triumph in Weston Beach Race; Simpson tackles bigger bikes with grit and determination

Everts and Simpson triumph in Weston Beach Race

Veteran multi champion and Red Bull KTM factory team boss Stefan Everts showed more than 900 riders how it is done on the sand on Sunday to clinch victory in the three hour MX Weston Beach endurance race on Britain’s Weston-Super-Mare seafront.

It was a guru vs. new boy affair when Everts, riding a Red Bull KTM 450 finished the race just over two minutes ahead of Britain’s Shaun Simpson, who joins the Red Bull KTM MX2 Factory Team in 2009 and this year finished fourth in MX2 world championship riding for KTM UK. It was the twenty sixth time the race had been held on the UK beach, won on the first occasion by Willie Simpson, Shaun’s father.
Everts still the King of Sand
Everts, one of the most revered personalities in motocross racing said before the event claimed he was not as fit as he used to be but the results indicated he still has the strength, skills and winning spirit to triumph. Everts victory, ahead of Simpson in second, MX2 World Champion, Red Bull KTM factory rider Tyla Rattray in eighth place on a KTM 450 and two times World Endurance champion and Grand National Cross Country Champion David Knight (KTM 450) who finished thirteenth, showed he has lost none of his sting on two wheels. Everts is and remains the King of Sand.
Simpson tackles bigger bikes with grit and determination
Simpson, recently crowned MX2 British motocross champion, showed his skill early in the race defying the bigger capacity bikes and rounding the first corner in the top ten. He tackled the formidable dunes and had Everts in his sights half way through the first lap. But then he lost the front in a brave attempt to take on the maestro and instead settled in to find his rhythm for what was a very long race. At the end of the day, the 20-year-old Scot piloted his KTM 250SX-F into second place behind his mentor to be one of only three riders to complete all 18 laps.
Speaking after the race Shaun said: ‘The second hour was the hardest as I forgot to put my drinks pack on during the first pit stop, so I got quite dehydrated. The last hour was OK as I picked it up on my second stop, and that gave me anextra spurt for the final push. To finish second behind Stefan on a two-fifty four stroke is a great result both for me and KTM.’ The race, in which there was a field of over 900 starters, was run in Indian summer temperatures in the 20’s on England’s south west coast and attracted around 100,000 spectators.
1. Stefan Everts, Belgium, KTM, 18 laps 3:07.26.37
2. Shaun Simpson, Britain, KTM, 18 laps 3:09.39.28
3. Jamie Lewis, Britain, Honda, 18 laps. 3:11.25.01
4. Ashley Greedy, Britain, 17 laps, 3:07.46.69
5. Tom Church, Britain, Kawasaki, 3:10.13.59
8. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, 17 laps, 3:16.44.81
13. David Knight, Isle of Man, KTM, 15 laps, 2:37.30.82
Everts and Simpson triumph in Weston Beach Race
Everts still the King of Sand Everts
Simpson tackles bigger bikes with grit and determination
David Knight on KTM’s ATV
David Casteu triumphs in Pharaons Rally 2008
David Casteu rode his KTM 690 Rally to overall victory in the seven-stage Pharaons Rally, a welcome return to the sand and the African continent after the last minute cancellation of the Dakar in January 2008 following terrorist threats.
A large crowd assembled to see the French KTM factory rider take victory against the majestic backdrop of the Giza Pyramids in Egypt with a slim margin ahead of teammate Frans Verhoeven (KTM 690 Rally) of the Netherlands. Italian Alessandro Zanotti was third.
Casteu and Verhoeven share line honours
Casteu was joined at the 45 km mark of what was a long 342 km final stage by Verhoeven who then rode together for the remainder of the race. The stage victory went to Verhoeven while Casteu, who dominated the 2008 edition of the Pharaons, finished with overall honours, his fist victory in a race that is valid for the World Championship. The Frenchman will now be a serious contender for the next Dakar Rally, to be held in South America in January 2009.
Perfect Dakar preparation, Casteu says
‘It took me a week to fine tune my physical condition and my riding style but it was especially my navigation over very difficult terrain that has provided the perfect preparation for my next Dakar,’ Casteu said after the race. Winning the trophy was simply the icing on the cake.’
Verhoeven satisfied with close second finish
Teammate Verhoeven was quick to congratulate Casteu saying he really deserved the victory. ‘I am also quite satisfied with my performance because it has been a long time since I rode in the desert. This rally has shown that my skill level is very satisfactory even if I still need more experience in navigation. It was very satisfying finishing just a minute and a half behind David after 3000 kilometres of desert race.’
Seven of the top 10 riders in this year’s rally rode KTM 690 Rally machines, underlining the dominance of the KTM ‘Made in Austria’ brand.
1. David Casteu, France, KTM 29:17.31
2. Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, KTM, 29:18.58
3. Alessandro Zanotti, Italy, Aprilia, 30:33:29
4. Luca Manca, Italy, TM, 30:41.16
5. Oscar Polli, Italy, KTM, 30:54.28

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