Interview: Stefan Everts on Liam’s second GP win, modern MXGP tracks, Jett Lawrence & Lucas Coenen
When it comes to Motocross, it’s fair to say Stefan Everts knows a thing or two about the sport and it’s now great to see his son, Liam make a name for himself in a different era. The young Belgian talent landed a full factory KTM ride this year and has won two GP’s as well as sitting second in the MX2 World Championship. The future is looking bright for Liamski.
We caught up with Stefan to discuss Liam and much more which you can listen to or read below:
GateDrop: Stefan, the second GP win for Liam and especially with the way he did it there on the last lap, you must be very proud?
Everts: Yeah, I am happy, very happy. You know he won the GP at Teutschenthal and some people had an opinion about that and how. Today we saw a good race from Liam in the first moto but it was not like 100% what I wanted to see because at one point he was in a good position to attack and then he made a crash at the end. It was a pity because there was still one and a half laps to go and in the sand a lot of things can change quickly. Anyhow in the second moto he took the holeshot and was leading. Lucas (Coenen) all weekend was really fast and took over the lead but Liam stayed focused. He kept pushing and at one point it came close with Jago (Geerts) – he dropped away a bit and then towards the end came back. I saw that Liam was having a difficult time in the last laps but he held on. Yeah, finally he passed him back but I didn’t see it because I was coming from the back of the track towards the podium. I didn’t see what happened but people tell me Jago passed him and then Liam passed him back. It was quite an exciting lap and I am happy he pushed through showing his speed to take the overall win.
GateDrop: When you look back at your career do you remember your first or second GP wins and how it felt with the emotions and how much hard work it is? You can probably help Liam deal with this?
Everts: Well, we try to help him as much as possible but at the end he is the one on the bike and a lot of things are happening out there. I think this year has been a very big change for everybody inside the family. Also, for Liam joining the factory team and he has started going his own way. He has some good people around him and it was time for me to take a step back and let it go. It was not easy but at the end, it has started to pay off and we start to see some progress in a lot of ways. But of course there are still many to do and we will see. We are going to take it GP by GP.
GateDrop: I think it is important to have a Dutch GP on the calendar and this is a new one in Arnhem, what was your thoughts on the track? It got a lot rougher and deeper than a lot of riders probably expected…
Everts: Yeah, I mean the track is what it is and when you have a sand race it is always going to be tough, hard, bumpy and physically hard. We had a hot day today as well. Overall, the paddock was a bit small and the viewing for the track for the people was maybe not 100% but at the end I think it is important to have a Dutch GP, that is for sure. I think a lot of things can be improved here towards the future.
GateDrop: A lot of people say tracks got way rougher back in your day when you raced but I think tracks still get rough these days too! Also, these days it’s important to be versatile – going from Sweden to this was totally different…
Everts: You know, the tracks have changed and how they prepare them and in our time the tracks were longer and not so wide. We had more riders on the track but okay, there are a lot of classes out there anyway. The track maintenance is also difficult because there’s not a lot of time in between especially on a Saturday. Sunday they do have a bit more time but the track was rough and tough. Was it in our time more rougher? Phew, I’m not so convinced about it. A track is a rough and the rider needs to be prepared for that.
GateDrop: Have you been watching the AMA Nationals this year?
Everts: Yeah, I have been watching it. Jett and Hunter have been doing really good and I am happy to see them come through there. What they do is really good and I saw in the past that these two kids have great talents and that one day they would be at the top. I am happy to see them do so well there.
GateDrop: Obviously Jett is amazing with a superb style but I laugh sometimes, some American’s seem to forget you rode that technique and perhaps even started the on the pegs style for this era…
Everts: Yeah, maybe I was an influence for some riders but not all of the young kids remember me riding the way I rode. I think, Jett and Hunter, they knew a little bit about my background and we worked a bit together also with my Dad. At the end of the day they are both very talented riders and it’s the same with Jorge Prado, there’s not too much to teach them. It’s about details and certain things because the rest they know how to do it. With some help here or there it can make a big influence.
GateDrop: Lucas Coenen is proving to be a big talent, with him Liam and Jago… the future is looking really good for Belgium after a few difficult years, let’s say…
Everts: Yeah, that is true. I think the next ten years can be very interesting for the Belgian Motocross scene with those kids. First we will go to the Nations this year and I hope they all stay healthy so we can go with that team. We will have a strong team to race for the podium and of course that would be really really nice to see. It looks good, Lucas is riding really good and I think surprising the whole paddock and the whole world what he has been showing this year. He is really fast over a short period, he is impressive.
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