Top 10: Belgian GP Riders in History //
POSTED: 12 Jun 2012 | SECTION: Top 10 | POSTED BY:Alex Gobert
MXlarge lists the 10 most successful riders ever from Belgium ahead of the 2012 GP.
Just a few days and it’s off to Belgium for the Grand Prix of Belgium. Belgium is of course the most successful country in the history of Grand Prix Motocross.
While an FIM World Championship hasn’t gone to a Belgian rider since Steve Ramon in 2007, the record books is a who’s who of Belgian motocross.
Geoff Meyer of MXlarge decided to look at their biggest hitters, the men who have had the most success for the motocross crazy country. Here are the Top 10 Belgian FIM Motocross World Champions.
Stefan Everts – 10 World Titles
Stefan Everts record of success will be very difficult to beat. Not only does he have 10 world titles, but he also has 101 grand prix victories, the second most GP wins is 57 by now retired Joel Smets. Not only did Everts have an amazing racing career, but as team manager of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team effort. Under Everts control and with major support from former racer Pit Beirer the team has improved to be point of being the most dominant team in the Grand Prix paddock.
Joel Robert – 6 World Titles
Joel Robert was for many years the most successful grand prix rider in the history of the sport, but that was until Stefan Everts came along and broke all his records. Robert has not only six FIM world titles, but also 50 GP victories. Known as a character, Robert once raced three races in a weekend, won them all and partied after each race. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, motocross racers were known to smoke and drink during the season and Robert was a legend at more than just racing. Riding for the Suzuki factory team in the 1960’s and 70’s gave him an added advantage over his rivals as the Suzuki factory was clearly a level above the others.
Roger De Coster – 5 World Titles
Simply known as ‘The Man’ back in the day he had a lot to do with many people coming into the sport of motocross. Slick, good looking and always confident De Coster won five FIM World 500cc Championships and 36 GPs in the 1970s. He also rode for the Suzuki factory team and while Robert was dominating the 250cc class, De Coster was in control of the 500cc class. De Coster is also famous for being manager of the Team USA effort for the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations and has been the team manager since the early 1980s.
Georges Jobe – 5 World Titles
In one of the toughest era’s in the sport’s history, Jobe put together five FIM World titles and 28 Grand Prix wins. Similar to his countrymen (Eric Geboers and Andre Malherbe) Jobe came up against riders like Hakan Carlqvist, Dave Thorpe, Brad Lackey and Kees Van Der Ven and was still able of putting together one of the most incredible careers in the sports history. Jobe won two FIM World 250cc and three FIM 500cc world titles.
Eric Geboers – 5 World Titles
If size was disadvantage then Eric Geboers would have nothing under his name, but the size of his heart made sure that he was always in the heat of battle against the best motocross riders in the world. Five FIM World Motocross Championships, 39 grand prix wins and the first man to win World titles in all three classes (125cc, 250cc and 500cc). Geboers was known for his professional approach to the sport and his desire to win at any cost. He is now team manager of the Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 team, and promoter of the Grand Prix of Limburg.
Joel Smets – 5 World Titles
Unlike his biggest rival Stefan Everts, this tall blonde Belgian didn’t have the most talent in the World, but what he lacked in talent he made up for with sheer determination. Smets won five FIM World titles and 57 GP victories. Never really came up to scratch when it mattered against Everts, but could handle just about every other rider of his era and did give Everts a lot of trouble when they did meet.
Harry Everts – 4 World Titles
Father of Stefan won four FIM world titles, one in the 250cc class and three in the 125cc class. The senior Everts rode for the Suzuki factory team during his domination of the 125cc class. Everts won in the 125cc class in 1979, 1980 and 1981 and the 250cc class in 1975.
Andre Malherbe – 3 World Titles
Ask Stefan Everts who he thinks is the most accomplished GP rider of all time and he might just mention the name Andre Malherbe. Malherbe won three FIM World 500cc Championships, but could have added more titles as in the period he was having success in the 125cc class it was not yet a FIM World Championship classified event, only a European Championship. Malherbe also won 28 Grand Prix’s.
Gaston Rahier – 3 World Titles
The late great Gaston Rahier. His three FIM World 125cc Championships came in the golden era of the Suzuki factory team. From 1975 until 1984 Suzuki won every FIM World 125cc title and just like Harry Everts did from 1979 until 1981, Rahier won his titles in succession, winning in 1975, 76 and 77. Rahier was the first ever FIM World 125cc Champion and like Eric Geboers used his small statue as an advantage.
Steve Ramon – 2 World Titles
Ramon has made the most of his career. Both world titles came in unusual circumstances. His first was the FIM World 125cc Championship in 2003 when he just beat Stefan Everts in the points after Everts hadn’t competed in the early rounds. Ramon’s second title came in the FIM World MX1 Championship. He had trailed Josh Coppins by around 100 points before Coppins crashed out of the Grand Prix of Czech Republic ending his championship assault. Ramon was there on both occasions to pick up the pieces courtesy of his solid results throughout the whole season.