A legendary Day in Motocross

Grand Prix motocross has had many magical moments through the years, from the 1960’s with Torsten Hallman, Joel Robert or Roger De Coster until the performances of Tim Gajser and Jeffrey Herlings in 2020. Many World Champions have been crowned and exciting rounds of the World championships have taken place.

One race though really turned the sport on its head as thousands and thousands of fans headed to the new circuit in the valley of Matterley Basin. Having held just one Grand Prix a few months earlier, this young track saw a weekend of magic and for the promoter of the event, Steve Dixon, it was a day he will never forget.

“I mean,” Dixon said. “That was generally the biggest crowd I have ever seen at a race. Then we had that big storm, hurricane Gordon and everyone was trying to get it. It was so successful, it was unsuccessful, and it will go down as one of those ones, like Woodstock or Glastonbury. There were people everywhere, but the racing was unbelievable. I still watch the video of Stefan (Everts) and James (Stewart) having the banter about it all being for the team and Stefan saying Ricky (Carmichael) would have raced him for the overall. I will always remember when Billy (Mackenzie) got into the lead and he was my rider, I had goose pimples all over my body.”

While it was Team USA who won that years MXoN, the star of the day was Belgian legend, Stefan Everts. His final major race as he retired from the sport, and a day he dominated and put on a perfect performance. His battles with Team USA’s rider James Stewart will go down as one of the best battles in the sports history.

“When I rode there in 2006,” Everts said. “It was the biggest crowd I had ever ridden in front of in Europe and the Nations, so a good moment, even great moment. It is always nice going back to Matterley. It is one of the nicest tracks on the season, along with Argentina, and Matterley is equal. You can see 100% of the track, which is awesome for the crowd and also the teams. It’s a cool track and the layout is nice. My fight with James Stewart was really a nice fight and I remember how the crowd reacted to my overall win. One of the best days of my career.”

So, while Matterley Basin is not on the 2021 calendar, what we all will never forget about this English circuit though, is that day in 2006, when a legend left the sport on top, and that greatest race in the world took another step in the right direction.

 

Photo Copyright: Ray Archer 

Author: 
Geoff Meyer

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