As we discussed in our April 2 article, the motocross GP 250 class (which actually permits 250cc two-strokes and 450cc four-strokes in the same class) brings together multi-time World champions Stefan Everts, Joel Smets and Mickael Pichon. After the first two rounds of the series, Pichon is dominating (having won each round). Pichon even won the second round in Holland in the deep sand, where the Belgians (Everts and Smetz) would have been more comfortable.
With Smetz contesting two classes this year (including the 650cc class on his big-bore, four-stroke KTM), the real battle in the 250 class should come down to Pichon and Everts. Although Pichon is perhaps in his prime and Everts a bit older, Everts is still extremely fast and competitive. Everts has shown that the fire still burns in his belly after a close fight with Pichon in Holland resulted in damage to Evert’s bike.
This is also very interesting from the two-stroke 250 (the Suzuki of Pichon) versus four-stroke 450 (the Yamaha of Everts) perspective. So far, Pichon’s two-stroke appears to have the upper hand, although a close fight with Everts’ four-stroke was developing in Holland before Everts had to pit for repairs.
Everts is on a very highly-developed, four-stroke 450. His Yamaha is a works machine, several generations in development. Everts says his current bike is easily the best four-stroke he has ever ridden, and he has been on a four-stroke Yamaha since the 2001 season.
In summary, in watching this year’s motocross GP season, we can see a classic battle between champions in the 250 class, while simultaneously observing the competitiveness of the latest four-stroke machinery against the two-strokes that have dominated the class for years. These reasons are more than enough to compel the United States fans to pay attention, for a change, to the European racing this year.