With the rain-soaked opening round of the 2009 Motocross World Championship in the books, the tour heads to Sevlievo this weekend for the GP of Bulgaria. Last season, reigning champ David Philippaerts took the MX1 win, while Tommy Searle, who is now training here in the U.S. for the AMA nationals, bested the MX2 class.

Current MX1 champ David Philippaerts sits ninth after first round. (photo: skinny)

If the GP of Italy was any indication, this season is sure to keep us guessing until the end. Already there has been surprises on the podium, and we are sure they will not be the last. In MX1 action, the Estonian Express, Tanel Leok, has jumped out to an early points lead with his first round win, while Ken DeDycker and Clement Desalle round out the top three. David Philippaerts, however, is currently sitting in ninth after the GP of Italy.

The MX2 class is going to see some new winners no matter what with current champ Tyla Rattray now in the U.S. alongside podium mainstay Tommy Searle. With those two out of the picture, the door is open for new contenders. Everyone has their early favorites, but we will definitely be keeping our eyes on American Zac Osborne, and Portugal’s Rui Goncalves aboard his factory KTM.

Red Bull factory KTM’s Shaun Simpson looks to take over the MX2 class (photo: skinny)

Two other KTMs that should be in the mix belong to Steven Sword and Shaun Simpson. Simpson has jumped up into the factory spot in Searle’s stead, while Sword has ditched the satellite Kawasaki for a UK-based KTM team. Both have repeatedly shown their speed and need only to provide some consistency this season to yield some results.

The women of the MXGP will kickstart their 2009 season in Bulgaria as well. Factory Kawasaki’s Livia Lancelot will be defending her title against a very strong field. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Stephanie Laier will be returning to challenge Lancelot, as well as American phenom Ashley Fiolek and Puerto Rican Tarah Geiger. Many of the women’s field are backed by factory teams, so it will be quite fun to see them perform on the elite motocross stage.

Factory Kawasaki’s Livia Lancelot is set to defend her title. (photo: Youthstream)