FUNCHAL, 11 July 2007- The FIM Motocross World Championship will make its comeback to Italy this weekend, almost two and a half months after the first season appearance in Mantova, in occasion of the tenth round of the series.
Faenza and the Monte Coralli circuit are all set on hosting a massive Italian crowd, that will come to watch series leader Joshua Coppins fight with local hero David Philippaerts in what should be a breathtaking MX1 Grand Prix. In the MX2 class all eyes will be on Sicilian Antonio Cairoli, who is dominating this 2007 season.
In Uddevalla, Joshua Coppins missed the podium for the first time this season, but the hard working Kiwi wants to be back to business in Faenza, which is actually two hours away from his Team Yamaha Motocross’ base, Langhirano.
David Philippaerts of KTM Red Bull was one of the four riders to have beaten Coppins once --in Teutschenthal- but the Italian MX1 debutant came close to victory also in Mantova, where he unfortunately tangled up with other riders in both heats and crashed.
This is Philippaerts’ chance of revenge, but the MX1 collective has found a new threat in the big shape of Ken De Dycker.
The CAS Honda Belgian raced a fantastic Swedish Grand Prix, to conquer both his maiden heat win and his maiden Grand Prix victory. De Dycker seems to have finally found the consistency he needed to top the podium regularly, and will be a serious contender from now on.
Suzuki’s Steve Ramon is currently sitting on the runner up position, right in front of Philippaerts, but the former 125cc World Champion has not won a MX1 Grand Prix yet. Ramon made up ground on Coppins in Sweden, but he is still 89 points away from the lead.
Also KTM Red Bull’s Jonathan Barragan is coming back to his full speed after an early season shoulder injury; after a storming Bulgarian Grand Prix with one heat win and a podium, the Spaniard was expected to do better than seventh in Uddevalla, but he will have the chance to make up for it this weekend.
Kevin Strijbos of Suzuki will reach Faenza in better shape than he was in Sweden; the 2006 runner up to Stefan Everts has been suffering a lot with his knee, sitting out of the Bulgarian round after he underwent surgery.
On the other hand, Tanel Leok of Kawasaki Racing Europe is on a season high, as he raced two solid moto’s in Sweden to mount on the overall podium for the second time this season.
MX2After another knee operation, Kevin Strijbos came back to the GP scene in Sweden
A flamboyant Antonio Cairoli of Yamaha De Carli is threatening his rivals GP by GP with incredible performances; the Italian will have a dedicated grandstand, and looks forward to coming back to Italy, where he conquered one of his six double heat victories at Mantova in early May.
While Cairoli will be preparing a special celebration for his home fans as he announced in a recent press conference, Tyla Rattray of KTM Red Bull will be looking for a way to pass current runner up Christophe Pourcel in the points standings.
Both had a disappointing Swedish Grand Prix, with Rattray twisting his knee in the opening heat, and Pourcel being far behind the start gate, struggling to work his way up through the pack.
On the other hand Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull collected his sweetest memory in Scandinavia by winning his maiden GP heat in front of Cairoli. Making it to his second consecutive podium --fifth of the season- Searle conquered important points on Pourcel and Rattray, and will try his hardest to pass both by the end of the GP campaign.
But Searle is followed by a dangerous Pascal Leuret of Martin Honda, the only Honda rider to podium in MX2 thanks to a third place overall in Portugal. Leuret is looking forward to Faenza, to give the Venice based team their first podium in the category.
Sweden was an important step forward for German Marcus Schiffer of KTM Sarholz; Schiffer was on his first career podium after two hard fought moto’s, but in Faenza he needs to demonstrate that he is also consistent.
Team Ricci’s Davide Guarneri and Kenneth Gundersen head to Faenza with different goals, after having experienced mixed fortunes in Sweden; Guarneri rounded off the top five thanks to two consistent moto’s, as Gundersen clinched a brilliant third in the opening moto but felt sick afterwards, and did not race the final heat.
Exploiting the pause of the UEM-European Motocross Championship MX2, series leader Deny Philippaerts, latest round winner Gautier Paulin, Maxime Lesage, Andrea Cervellin, Giuseppe Di Palma, Marco Maddii, Loic Rombaut and Marvin Musquin will race this round of the World Championship.
MONTE CORALLI AND FAENZA
A lot of modifications have been done to the Monte Coralli track of Faenza. The circuit has hosted several World Championship meetings, such as MX3 rounds, 500cc and 125cc GP’s from the eighties, but the forthcoming Grand Prix of Faenza -- Città delle Ceramiche will see a completely different facility. The length has been reduced to about 1600 metres, as the paddock area will be completely flat. The twisty circuit is located in a seven hectare wooden area, and is characterized by demanding uphill and downhill sections.
Faenza is in the Emilia Romagna Region, and enjoys a strong Motorsports tradition. The city of Faenza is located between Imola and Forlì, and is only 50 kilometres away from Cervia, on the Adriatic seaside. The closest big city is Bologna -60 kilometres- which is also the capital of the region.
Faenza is very well known for the porcelain --in Italian “ceramiche – arts and crafts, which has developed since the Renaissance period.
The centre of Faenza is characterized by two ancient squares, one next to the other. Piazza del Popolo and Piazza della Libertà host the most important monuments of the city, such as Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo del Municipio.
THE EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday July 14: 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 15: 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).
Fans worldwide can watch this and every race of the 2007 FIM Motocross & Supermoto World Championships live and on-demand exclusively on The Moto Channel on MediaZone (moto.MediaZone.com). MediaZone is a leading global online broadcaster specialized in sports, entertainment and international programming.
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