FUNCHAL, 25 July 2007- Loket, Czech Republic, will welcome the FIM Motocross World Championship back to action after a breathtaking Grand Prix at Faenza.
The double victory of the Pourcel brothers, Sebastien and Christophe, was something unique in Motocross history, but series leaders Joshua Coppins and Antonio Cairoli will seek revenge at round eleven on the Loketske Serpentiny.
Sebastien Pourcel of GPKR clinched a flawless GP victory in Faenza, the maiden MX1 win of his career; the Frenchman rode smart in both heats and finally moved up to third in the Championship standings.
Yamaha Motocross’ Joshua Coppins finished second overall in Italy, but the hard working Kiwi rode for the podium, to make up for a disappointing Swedish Grand Prix, when he rode ill. Coppins will try to come back to victory in Loket, as he has been the only one winning more than one Grand Prix this season.
David Philippaerts of KTM Red Bull, who will race for Yamaha Rinaldi for the next two years, was actually expecting much more in the latest round, but his performance was hampered by a slight shoulder injury. The German GP winner will be back stronger this weekend to fight for his Championship classification, where he is now sandwiched between Pourcel and his team mate Jonathan Barragan.
After three podiums in a row, Steve Ramon of Suzuki took a break in Faenza but that cost him several points. The current runner up sees Coppins run away with the lead, being now 107 points adrift of the Kiwi, but clinching his maiden MX1 GP win before the end of the season would be Ramon’s consolation.
His team mate Kevin Strijbos has already won twice in the category, once in Portugal this year —having been the first to beat Coppins in 2007- and once here in Loket, back in 2005. Strijbos has been suffering too much with his knee this season; he has dropped down to eighth in the standings, but he seems ready to climb back up.
Mike Brown of CAS Honda rode to a solid podium in Faenza, and looks forward to clinching another top three finish in Loket.
The hard pack base of the Loketske Serpentiny may be the ground Aprilia Off Road’s Cedric Melotte needs to repeat the astonishing start performance of the first moto at Faenza; unfortunately the Belgian did not finish the heat and sat out of the second one because he had been sick for the entire weekend.
Christophe Pourcel of GPKR took his revenge on rival Antonio Cairoli by beating him on home soil at Faenza, as Cairoli did with the Frenchman at St. Jean.
Yamaha De Carli’s Antonio Cairoli will be highly motivated to finish in front of the Frenchman again in Loket, where he missed the podium last year but won the event in 2005.
Cairoli and Pourcel are the only riders to have clinched a GP victory this year, while KTM Red Bull’s Tyla Rattray has stayed consistent and has grasped his seventh season podium at Faenza. The South African is now third in the standings, but looks forward to chipping away at the gap from Pourcel and improve on his position.
His team mate Tommy Searle has to make up for a disappointing latest round, where he finished out of the top five, whereas KTM fellow rider Rui Goncalves of AXO Silver Action finally entered the top five after a long absence —his last top five overall finish was in Lierop 2006.
Both will be riding hard in Loket, and so will Pascal Leuret of Martin Honda; Leuret, the only rider to podium with Honda in MX2, has been incredibly consistent this season, and never missed the points in each of the 20 moto’s that he has raced so far.
Just back from the ninth round of the European MX2 series in Sverepec, Slovakia, winner Deny Philippaerts, Gautier Paulin and Marvin Musquin will join the World Championship again, and regular MX2 contender Sean Hamblin will be back.
LOKETSKE SERPENTINY AND LOKET
Loketske Serpeentiny is a twisty intermediate ground track; the surface actually has a hard base, and one of the most exciting parts of the circuit is the spectacular double downhill jump, which takes no prisoners. A very enthusiastic Czech crowd turns out every year to enjoy the only Motocross World Championship meeting at the demanding Serpentiny, where the weather should be cloudy this weekend.
Loket, hosting the main Motocross track in the country, is 140 kilometres east of Prague; the town is rich in history, and this makes it one of the most fascinating spots in Czech Republic. Loket was founded in 1240, and during the Luxembourg era it used to be the temporary seat of the members of the royal family, being visited several times by King Jan Luxembourg. The old Castle is currently the most attractive place in town.
THE EVENT’S SCHEDULE
Saturday July 28: MX2 Free Practice at 10:00 am; MX1 Free Practice 1 at 11:00 am; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice at 12:00 am; MX1 Free Practice 2 at 2:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 1 at 3:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 2 at 3:45 pm; MX1 Time Practice at 4:30 pm; MX2 Last Chance Qualifying Practice at 5:15 pm (local time).
Sunday July 29: MX2 Warm-up at 9:00 am; MX1 Warm-up at 9:30 am; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 at 12:08 am; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 at 1:08 pm; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 at 3:03 pm; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 at 4:03 pm (local time).
Information and results on www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships.
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