There are just two rounds remaining to complete the 2009 Motocross World Championship season and just one question is being asked: Can anyone overtake Tony Cairoli at the top of the MX1 standings?
A first-timer in the class this year after having previously twice won the MX2 world title, the remarkable little Italian enjoys a 45-point lead over Germany’s Max Nagl, with just 100 points available before the titles are handed out at the final round in Brazil.
Yamaha’s Cairoli, the only rider to have passed the 500 points mark in the MX1 standings, has an solid advantage over Nagl with Italy’s David Philippaerts, Belgian pair Clement Desalle and Ken De Dycker and New Zealand’s Josh Coppins completing a packed top six spread in 94 points.
With the remaining two rounds to pay a total of 100 points, in MX2, France’s Marvin Musquin leads the way from Portugal’s Rui Goncalves, who is 20 points behind. After winning the last GP in Czech Republic, Gautier Paulin enters the Braun Grand Prix of The Netherlands with third in the championship, just 28 points behind Musquin.
Despite ending a five podium row in Loket, Yamaha Red Bull De Carli’s Cairoli lost just six points on runner-up Nagl, taking second on the podium behind winner Desalle. With a current advantage of 45 points Cairoli is close to wrapping up his maiden MX1 title which would come at his only first full season in the category. Though this hard fought season has left no room for such predictions and the Italian will probably remain focused until the title is not under his belt.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Nagl, who is due to team up with Cairoli next year inside the factory MX1 KTM team, is fighting tooth and nail not to let Cairoli go with the Title. The German has been winning one heat in each of the last three GP’s, taking one win and two second places overall. The third place Nagl took in Lierop last year now looks like something he will be willing to improve.
Defending champion Philippaerts still sits in third place but the Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross man has only a small chance to reach Cairoli and defend the number one plate. Coming back to the podium in Loket, the Italian could keep a hungry Desalle behind in the standings but the duo is now spread in just two points.
The LS Motors Honda rider, who was recently picked to represent team Belgium and make his maiden appearance in the Red Bull FIM MXoN, won his maiden Grand Prix in Loket. The result was a confidence booster for the 20 year old who now aims at increasing his actual tally of five podiums and taking a top three finish in the series.
De Dycker, second in Lierop last year, and Coppins round off the top six as they share the same amount of points.
Martin Honda’s Marc De Reuver, who won in Lierop last year, is due to make his comeback to racing this weekend after a training accident stopped him before the Portuguese GP. On the other hand team-mate Kevin Strijbos broke his right tibia and fibula last week and is out for the remainder of the season.
KTM Silver Action’s Jonathan Barragan, who injured himself before the French GP and underwent an operation removing his spleen, will make his comeback in Lierop as well.
At Loket, a mechanical failure in moto two cut Musquin’s advantage in the Championship with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider watching other title challengers Goncalves and Paulin become even more dangerous.
Coming back to victory in Czech Republic, Bud Racing Kawasaki PSM’s Paulin was the one to make the most of Musquin’s misfortune. The former European champion gained 21 points more than French countryman Musquin and consolidated his third place in the championship where the top three is spread in just 28 points – three more than the amount each moto pays the winner.
Other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Goncalves is sandwiched in between the two as he aims at becoming the first ever Portuguese to win a motocross world title. A stomach issue prevented Goncalves from being 100% in the last two rounds but the break following Loket should have healed the problem.
Guarneri is fourth in the championship but the Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci Motocross rider is feeling the pressure of a fast Ken Roczen coming up from fifth.
The German snatched the spot from Steven Frossard courtesy of a strong outing in Czech Republic, where the 15-year-old won his second career moto to take fourth overall. The Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2 rider is currently 67 points behind Davide Guarneri who has not yet been on the podium this year.
Taking his second season’s podium Xavier Boog aims at another strong outing on the sand to secure a good ride for 2010 while French countryman Valentin Teillet is also pumped for Lierop after he collected his best career result in Loket with fifth overall.
Nico Aubin performed strong in Loket but a mechanical failure ruined what could be a solid overall result. The Frenchman will try and take his revenge in Lierop, where he was third overall in 2009.
Scotland’s Shaun Simpson will make his come back to the Grand Prix series after a training accident following Valkenswaard’s GP, where he was second on the podium, stopped his title ambitions
Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com