Belgian Joel Smets wins riding a KTM

With very nice weather and a big crowd (15,000) the 2002 European motocross season started with success for Joel Smets, winning for the third time this prestigious preseason race.

Smets did the holeshot in the first heat and won easily, followed by Italian rider Andrea Bartolini, who is back to racing on his 450 Honda.

The second heat was more difficult for Smets, as Bartolini did the holeshot and led the race for the first six laps. Smets passed him and won, but during the last four laps both Bartolini and German Pit Beirer put a lot of pressure on him.

In the last heat Frenchman Frederic Bolley did the holeshot, followed by Smets and another Frenchman Yves Demaria. Smets was really close but he broke his rear brake and crashed in the fourth lap. Bolley won, with Beirer second, Smets third, and Demaria fourth.

The overall was Smets, followed by Bartolini and Beirer.

250 World Champions Mickael Pichon was not in Beaucaire, due to a finger injury suffered one week earlier in England.

Overall (same points system as GP):

1. Smets – 66

2. Bartolini – 50

3. Beirer – 45

4. Bolley – 44

5. Coppins – 32

6. McFarlane – 27

7. Demaria – 26

8. Everts – 25

9. Ramon – 18

10. Bervoets – 16

11. Aubert – 14

12. Dobb – 14


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