News 26 May 2010

World MX: KTM's Alessi to headline United States Grand Prix

The FIM Motocross World Championship will make a historic return to the United States this weekend when Glen Helen Raceway hosts the 2010 USA Grand Prix, the first GP in the States to be contested 11 years after the 250cc Grand Prix in Budds Creek.

MX1 Championship leader Antonio Cairoli heads to America with the goal of winning his third GP of 2010 and showing the potential of his 350cc KTM Stateside. Onboard the classic 450cc, team mate Max Nagl chases him in second place while David Philippaerts completes the top three.

Top racers from the American series such as Mike Alessi and Kiwi Ben Townley will also attend this race of the century. Alessi is fresh from a moto victory at last weekend’s AMA Motocross Championship season opener at Hangtown in California, while Townley was also a podium contender in his return to professional racing with Troy Lee Designs Honda.

In the MX2 class Marvin Musquin has a comfortable lead of 26 points which he wishes to further extend in Glen Helen, where runner up Ken Roczen instead will try to make up points on the defending MX2 Champion. Youngster Jeffrey Herlings completes the top three as home rider Zach Osborne hopes to clinch the first podium of 2010 in front of his home fans.

In the Veterans’ series current leader Mats Nilsson will find tough opposition in America as last year’s World Cup winner is due to face strong rivals such as Jeff Matiasevich, Kurt Nicoll, Darryll King, Doug Dubach and Chuck Sun adding extra drama to this first overseas round of the Cup.

The last Motocross Grand Prix hosted by Glen Helen Raceway was the 500cc FIM World Championship opener in 1992. In that occasion Jean-Michel Bayle took the overall win from Matiasevich.

Leading the MX1 World Championship series into America for the first time after an 11 year absence, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Cairoli wants to make history again.

After taking the first win of a 350cc machine in the MX1 class at Mantova this year, the three time World Champion from Italy seeks victory in this historic comeback to America. Having missed the podium in Bellpuig for the first time in 2010, Cairoli is now ready to make up.

Team mate Nagl is currently second in the Championship with a gap of 16 points from Cairoli. Nagl took a podium in Bellpuig and will try to exploit the horsepower of his 450cc machine to climb back up to the top of the podium in Glen Helen.

Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross’ Philippaerts narrowly missed out on winning the Catalan GP and is now even more motivated to make it to victory despite a hand injury from Portugal still troubles him. The 2008 MX1 World Champion is currently third in the points standings.

Team Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 leaves its mark in the top six with Clement Desalle in fourth and Steve Ramon in sixth, sandwiching Ken De Dycker who is now fifth in this hard fought MX1 class.

Kawasaki’s Xaiver Boog is seventh ahead of Catalan GP winner Tanel Leok.

Stars of the USA National series such as 2004 MX2 World Champion Townley, Alessi, Ryan Sipes and Ryan Hughes, are also attending this exciting Grand Prix of the United States at Glen Helen Raceway. Together with Cairoli and Rui Gonçalves, Alessi will be the third man on the field with a 350cc KTM.

Regular GP rider Jimmy Albertson injured himself at the Catalan Grand Prix but will try his best to be fit enough for his home GP.

Courtesy of his Catalan Grand Prix victory, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Musquin has now an even bigger lead in the MX2 series. The French, who won last year’s championship, is 26 points ahead of runner-up Roczen, pulling out of heat two in Bellpuig due to technical issues. With four GP wins in five rounds, Musquin enters Glen Helen as the absolute dominator of the start of this 2010 series.

Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2’s Roczen instead has to make up for missing the points in heat two in Bellpuig. After winning his first heat of the season, the 16-year-old German’s bike stopped in moto two.

Other sensational teenager Herlings of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2 is third in the championship despite a DNF in Bellpuig. The 15-year-old is just eight points behind Roczen and is pumped about the fact this comeback to the USA of the FIM Motocross World Championship is happening already at his maiden year in the series.

Fourth placed in the championship, Gordon Frossard and his Kawasaki CLS teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek are also looking forward to America, where their squad’s partner Pro Circuit is based. The duo are expected to perform strong in what looks like the second home grand prix of this France based team.

Courtesy of his first season’s podium in Catalunya, Shaun Simpson is fifth in the series while home rider Osborne is eighth and chases a home podium this weekend. The American has also a GP win to his credit, courtesy of his Turkish GP success last year.

Having made his comeback to the GP series in Catalunya, Guatier Paulin hopes in a podium finish this weekend and shares the goal with Belgian Joel Roelants, appearing on the podium in Bellpuig for the first time in 2010.

Making a special appearance at Glen Helen will be British Tommy Searle, a former runner-up in the World MX2 series, and Max Anstie, with the latter being joined by teammates Broc Tickle and Martine Davalos.

Racing his first GP in Bellpuig, American Michael Leib will try his best this weekend despite being still affected by a wrist injury.

The third round of the FIM Veterans’ World Cup will mark this series’ maiden appearance overseas as the event will welcome the participation of many outstanding talents of the past to chase series leader Nilsson for the overall win.

The Swedish has now won all four heats of round one and two but this weekend he will have to fight former GP winners in the likes of British Nicoll and New Zealander King. Home hero Sun will also be in for victory while top five riders in the Cup Hendrickx, Bal and Lheriteau hope in cutting the gap from Nilsson. Matiasevich will also seek victory this weekend after he took second overall at the USA Grand Prix at Glen Helen in 1992.