— World MX to Sevlievo
It has only been three days since the MXGP of Trentino was celebrated in the Italian region of Trento but the FIM Motocross World Championship is already travelling toward the awarded track of Sevlievo in Bulgaria to celebrate the fifth MXGP of the 2013 season during the 21st April weekend. The Bulgarian Grand Prix will be special this year, as the Gorna Rositza track will celebrate its 10th anniversary hosting the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The first year that the FIM Motocross World Championship travelled to Sevlievo was back in 2002 when Joel Smets won the 500cc class on a KTM, Mickael Pichon dominated the 250cc class on his Suzuki and Alessandro Puzar the 125cc category on his Husqvarna. Since then the most renown motocross riders of the last decade have won in Sevlievo: Mickael Maschio, Stefan Everts, Yves Demaria, Alex Salvini, Marc De Reuver, Josh Coppins, Antonio Cairoli, David Philippaerts, Tommy Searle, Marvin Musquin, Max Nagl, Clement Desalle and Ken Roczen. Last year it was Gautier Paulin and Tommy Searle who won the MX1 and MX2 classes, while the young motocross talents Tim Gajser, Caleb Grothues and Brian Hsu were crowned the 125cc, 85cc and 65cc FIM Motocross Junior World Champions. Sevlievo has also seen Livia Lancelot and Stephanie Laier winning when the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship was celebrated in 2009 and 2010. 2005 was the only year that Sevlievo did not host any Grand Prix of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli is travelling to Sevlievo after having obtained his 57th GP victory on his home soil. The Italian, who does not really look at the numbers, is feeling better than ever and he is determined to obtain what it would be his maiden overall victory in Bulgaria since he is racing in the MX1 class. The only time that Cairoli won in Sevlievo was in 2007 while he was still competing in the MX2 class.
His teammate Ken De Dycker is currently second in the MX1 point standings after finishing second overall in the Grand Prix of Trentino last weekend. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider has already won two heats this year, the second race of the Dutch Grand Prix and the qualifying race last weekend in Arco di Trento, so his next goal is being on the first step of the podium and stop the winning streak of Cairoli.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle started the 2013 season on the top of the rostrum and with the red plate on his bike, but now he is third in the point standings and Gautier Paulin is just one point away from the Belgian. Desalle had good speed in Arco di Trento and his rhythm was also good, but after finishing third in the first heat he crashed after the start of the second moto and finished eighth. This weekend he will give his best to be on the top of the podium of the Bulgarian Grand Prix as he did in 2011.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin left the Grand Prix of Trentino with really good feelings with himself and his bike. The French rider is still fourth in the championship, but just one point away from Desalle. Last year Paulin won the Bulgarian Grand Prix and although it is a track he liked, he mentioned that every year it is different and that it will be difficult to beat Cairoli, as he is in one of his best moments of his racing career.
The fifth position of the FIM MX1 World Championship is now for Kevin Strijbos who is closer than ever to finish on the podium. The Belgian rider is back on a factory team this year and his results have been very consistent so far. However, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World rider is still missing to achieve his main goal, which is finishing among the top three of the MX1 class.
Tommy Searle, who won the Bulgarian MXGP last year in the MX2 class, is currently sixth in the point standings but he is just two points behind Strijbos. The British rider had two very good starts last weekend in Italy, so he just needs to keep his rhythm at the front in order to obtain what it would be his maiden MX1 podium. Rui Gonçalves is seventh and he is followed by Evgeny Bobryshev, who might not take part in the Bulgarian Grand Prix as he is still recovering from a fracture in his fibula.
Xavier Boog, who will enter his 100th Grand Prix this weekend in Sevlievo, is currently ninth in the MX1 classification, followed by Max Nagl who will be riding to finish among the top three this weekend and move up in the standings of the championship.
2012 MX1 Podium
1. Gautier Paulin
2. Christophe Pourcel
3. Antonio Cairoli
2012 MX1 POLEMAN: Antonio Cairoli
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings is travelling to Sevlievo after having won all the Grand Prix celebrated so far, being the last two the most difficult ones by far as he had to move from the back of the pack to the front in all the of the heats. The Dutch rider is fulfilling his 2013 goal, which is winning all the races of the FIM Motocross World Championship, but if he wins this weekend in Sevlievo, it will not be one more MXGP victory, but it will also be his first overall win in the Bulgarian track.
The second position of the MX2 standings is still for his teammate Jordi Tixier who has increased his difference with third classified Glenn Coldenhoff up to 13 points after the MXGP of Trentino. Last year the Red Bull KTM Factory rider finished 13th in the Bulgarian Grand Prix, but after his last two fantastic performances there is no doubt that Tixier will be racing for an overall win once again this weekend.
After the MXGP of Trentino Glenn Coldenhoff moved up to the third position of the MX2 classification after finishing fifth overall. The Standing Construct KTM rider is having one of his best starts of the season, but even if he has taken the holeshot in several occasions and has won the qualifying race of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, he is missing a podium finish. The Dutch rider did not take part in the Bulgarian Grand Prix last year, but he is confident that he can obtain a good result this weekend.
Silver Action KTM’s José Butrón obtained his second podium of the season last weekend in Arco di Trento and he moved up to the fourth position of the MX2 point standings. The Spanish rider succeeded in finishing second in the second heat of the Italian round, so if he has the same speed and rhythm this weekend, he might be able to finish on the podium once again and reduce the 17 points difference he has with Coldenhoff.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier was very close to be on the podium last weekend in Arco di Trento and the French rider finished the Grand Prix very satisfied with his riding. Last year the French rider could not take part in the Bulgarian round as he was still recuperating from a fracture on his foot.
Romain Febvre moved from third to sixth in the MX2 point standings as he missed the Grand Prix of Trentino due to a fracture in his fibula. Max Anstie is tight in 98 points with Febvre and Dean Ferris, who showed in Arco di Trento that he is almost fully fit again from his injuries, is eighth in the Championship.
Jake Nicholls, who was on the podium in the Netherlands, got a mechanical problem in Arco di Trento and got a DNF in the second heat. The British rider is still down in the ninth position in the championship seven points behind Ferris. Mel Pocock is completing the top ten of the MX2 standings.
Home rider Petar Petrov, who is currently thirteenth in the championship, is looking forward to racing in Sevlievo this weekend with the main goal of finishing among the top ten and moving up some positions in the standings.
2012 MX2 Podium
1. Tommy Searle
2. Jeffrey Herlings
3. Joel Roelants
2012 MX2 POLEMAN: Tommy Searle