Philippaerts Enters Home Lovemytime Grand Prix Of Italy With Head High

FUNCHAL (PORTUGAL), 14 May 2008 – After visiting Sevlievo, the FIM Motocross World series including the MX1, MX2 and the Women riders will head to Mantova, Italy, for the fifth meeting of the 15 races calendar –second meeting of the five races calendar for the Women World Championship.

MX1 rider David Philippaerts enters the Lovemytime Grand Prix of Italy -his home Grand Prix- as the series leader and the winner of the latest Grand Prix, while countryman Antonio Cairoli will try to get the MX2 red plate back from current leader Tyla Rattray.

With four different winners in four rounds, both the MX1 and the MX2 class riders are ready for another all or nothing show on the Italian soil.

MX1

This is so far the best season in Grand Prix racing for Yamaha Monster Motocross’ David Philippaerts; he is the very first Italian to lead the MX1 points standings and after winning his first Grand Prix of 2008 last weekend, Philippaerts will surely be on a high for his home event. David has actually a score to settle with the circuit, where he was knocked out twice in last year’s Grand Prix.

David Philippaerts and his mechanic Gerald Wever looking at the factory YZ450FM of the Yamaha Monster Motocross team

Teka Suzuki WMX1’s Steve Ramon follows Philippaerts from second in the Championship; the defending Champion is not in a rush to get back to the lead but he has been riding solid at every event, as third placed in the Championship Joshua Coppins.

The Yamaha Monster Motocross rider was described as the favourite for the Title this year but an off season injury compromised his start to the GP campaign. Though the hard working Kiwi has not yet given up and currently sits 34 points behind his team mate, with 50 points up for grabs in each of the 11 remaining events.

CAS Honda’s Billy Mackenzie, who rides factory Honda machinery alongside team mate Mike Brown and Martin Honda riders Marc de Reuver and Julien Bill, is so far the highest placed Honda rider but has not yet taken the results he was aiming for, even though he has been performing fantastic starts to the races.

Sebastien Pourcel took his first ever MX1 podium at Mantova 2007

Former series leader Ken de Dycker of Teka Suzuki WMX1 now lies in fifth ahead of two dangerous rivals, in the likes of AXO KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan and GPKR’s Sebastien Pourcel. The former was incredibly fast at Sevlievo, taking his first season’s podium and missing his maiden GP win due to a crash in the final stages of moto two. Pourcel instead has already won three MX1 GP’s since his debut in the category in 2007, when he actually took his maiden MX1 podium at Mantova.

After a solid weekend in Bulgaria, TM Factory Racing’s Alessio Chiodi is looking forward to Mantova where he hopes to improve on his 22nd place in the Championship; on the other hand Italian countryman Cristian Stevanini will enter as wild card onboard a Husqvarna machine.

Alessio Chiodi looks forward to Mantova, to be the home event for him and his TM factory squad

MX2

The Grand Prix of Bulgaria saw Red Bull KTM Factory racing’s Tyla Rattray move back up to the top of the Championship standings; winning the opening GP in Valkenswaard, Rattray held the red plate until Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Tony Cairoli snatched it in Portugal.

Tyla Rattray heads to Italy in good form

After his third season’s podium in Sevlievo, the South African collected other important points while Cairoli missed the rostrum due to the crash in the final heat.

Now the Italian is second in the Championship with a gap of just four points from the leader; Cairoli is pumped for his home event and hopes in another double win like in 2007, when rival Rattray ended twice second. Though Cairoli has two broken ribs from Sevlievo’s crash and might not be at his full level of fitness.

A final moto crash took Tony Cairoli off the podium in Bulgaria

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tommy Searle won his second career Grand Prix last weekend to capitalize on his third place in the Championship. The top three made of Rattray, Cairoli and Searle himself is very close and anything could happen this weekend, with the trio being spread in just eight points.

Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Nicolas Aubin enters the team’s home event after racing his best season’s moto in Bulgaria, finishing third in the final heat; he is now fourth in the Championship, level in points with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rui Goncalves.

After the misfortune in Sevlievo, Molson Kawasaki Racing’s Stephen Sword, who did not finish moto two due to a bike problem, will be back stronger at Mantova, as he suffers a gap of eight points from Aubin and Goncalves.

On the other hand, Sevlievo was the best career race for KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson and Suzuki Inotec’s Xavier Boog. The British mounted on his maiden podium after losing the victory of the final moto from Searle at the very last lap, while Boog ended a solid fourth overall.

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Tyla Rattray heads to Italy in good form

After his third season’s podium in Sevlievo, the South African collected other important points while Cairoli missed the rostrum due to the crash in the final heat.

Now the Italian is second in the Championship with a gap of just four points from the leader; Cairoli is pumped for his home event and hopes in another double win like in 2007, when rival Rattray ended twice second. Though Cairoli has two broken ribs from Sevlievo’s crash and might not be at his full level of fitness.

A final moto crash took Tony Cairoli off the podium in Bulgaria

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tommy Searle won his second career Grand Prix last weekend to capitalize on his third place in the Championship. The top three made of Rattray, Cairoli and Searle himself is very close and anything could happen this weekend, with the trio being spread in just eight points.

Ricci Racing Yamaha’s Nicolas Aubin enters the team’s home event after racing his best season’s moto in Bulgaria, finishing third in the final heat; he is now fourth in the Championship, level in points with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rui Goncalves.

After the misfortune in Sevlievo, Molson Kawasaki Racing’s Stephen Sword, who did not finish moto two due to a bike problem, will be back stronger at Mantova, as he suffers a gap of eight points from Aubin and Goncalves.

On the other hand, Sevlievo was the best career race for KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson and Suzuki Inotec’s Xavier Boog. The British mounted on his maiden podium after losing the victory of the final moto from Searle at the very last lap, while Boog ended a solid fourth overall.

Shaun Simpson was snatched his maiden moto win by Tommy Searle at the last lap of the Bulgarian GP

CIRCUITO INTERNAZIONALE CITTÀ DI MANTOVA-TAZIO NUVOLARI AND MANTOVA

The track is named after car racing legend Tazio Nuvolari, as the driver was born and lived in Mantova. It was inaugurated in 1982 after a lot of work was put in to build it in cooperation with former Motocross World Champion Michele Rinaldi, now the head of the Yamaha Monster Motocross’ team. The ground is a mix between the natural soil (30%) and the sand (70%), which makes it one of the few sandy circuits in the Italian peninsula. Last year Coppins (MX1) and Cairoli (MX2) took the overalls with two double wins each at the end <> of a sunny event, while this year the weather forecast predicts rain for the entire weekend.

Mantova is one of the very few sandy courses in Italy

The city of Mantova is named after the Latin word “Mantua”, which refers to an Etruscan god. The city itself has 46.372 inhabitants spread on an area of 63,9 square metres. Mantova is in the centre of the Pianura Padana, the widest flatland in Italy; it is famous for having been the base of the very important Italian dynasty Gonzaga, who ruled the city for four centuries since 1328. Palazzo Ducale was actually built by the Gonzaga and it is still one of the most famous spots to watch once in Mantova, together with the Palazzo Te, the Torre dell’Orologio and the Basilica di Sant’Andrea. Mantova is one of the key cities for the Italian culture, as the poet Virgil and Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna lived there.

THE EVENT’S SCHEDULE

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