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Is this 1998 or 2006? — Tortelli vs. Everts for the World Championship

With the opening round of MX1 in the books, the 2006 series is taking on an erie sense that it is 1998 all over again. In 1998, Stefan Everts and Sebastien Tortelli battled tooth-and-nail for the World 250cc Motocross championship, with Tortelli coming out on top (one of the few championships Everts has lost in his career), and Everts finishing a close second.

In Zolder just two weeks ago, Everts and Tortelli traded moto victories (with each finishing second in a moto, as well), and left the circuit tied at 47 points each. Everts took the overall win with victory in the second moto, but the statistics show one moto victory each, and 21 laps led by each of the two champions.

With the recent announcement that Mickael Pichon has pulled out of the 2006 MX1 championship suffering from a stubborn virus that has weakened him, and the recent injury to Josh Coppins, the 2006 series could turn out to be just as big a war between Everts and Tortelli as the 1998 series was.