MX1 ClassJoshua Coppins won the GP of South Africa with a double victory—the second in a row for the New Zealander. Coppins pushed had to push hard for the win in Moto1, during which he struggled with Stefan Everts. The battle for first started off three ways between Coppins, Everts and Factory KTM rider Ben Townley. But Townley crashed hard just before the finish line jump, rejoining the race in fourth place and leaving the lead battle between Everts and Coppins. They swapped positions several times before the Honda/Cas rider got it and held it to the finish.Second overall went to eight-time World Champion Stefan Everts with a 2-2 finish. But Everts was very upset with his final results. The Yamaha/Rinaldi rider was about to be the winner of the GP, but lost it on the last lap of Moto2 with a rookie mistake. He was in control of the second moto and on his way to a 2-1 ovarall win (and 85th career victory), but during the last lap, in celebration of his imminent victory he let go of the bars while jumping to greet the audience. Then he lost his balance during the landing, fell and damaged the front brake. Meanwhile Coppins was getting closer, and—even to his own disbelief—overtook Everts (he turned back three times trying to understand what had happened).
In the end, Everts wound up handing the GP victory to Coppins on a silver platter. Everts was furious with his error and his series lead now slims to 39 points. Factory KTM rider Steve Ramon took third overall with his 3-3 finish for the day, earning the Belgian his first podium of the season.Mickael Pichon was not present at the South African GP. Rumors say there are problems between the French rider and his team. Insiders say that the departure of Ben Townley for the US circuit will leave an open Factory KTM ride for Pichon in 2006. We will see...Josh Coppins: "I was pretty lucky! Of course it's always good to win but I never expected to win like that. It's better to win because you're the best. I was the best in the first Moto but got a lot of cramps in the second Moto. I want to show Stefan that I want to race for the Championship. Even though he has a big lead, we've seen him make mistakes—more this year than ever before—and we saw this in the last lap. This is the time to push and make as many points as possible. This has been the best race of my career."Stefan Everts: "I am really unhappy with this. I had a stupid crash on the last lap and had a problem with the front brake. I had Josh beaten and I deserved the victory today. In the first moto I had more problems with the lappers—they seem to be a hassle at every GP—but Josh rode really well. I hope that I can win in Belgium because I wanted it really bad here."Steve Ramon: "My start was good in the first moto but I went wide in the sand and lost a place and then mis-judged the tabletop and a few more people got past me. I could not find a good rhythm for the first ten minutes and saw that Stefan and Josh were long gone. The second race was similar. My start was better, but again it took me time to find the speed and the good lines.