2007 FIM World Championship Series - Preview - Dirt Rider Magazine

We're only a few days away from the opening of the FIM MX World championship and the first event will be held in Valkenswaard (Benelux) on the 1st of April.Let's take a look at how the teams and riders will be arranged for the MX1 class.In the MX1 (450) class we'll witness a huge change as far as riders are concerned: Stefan Everts, the king of European motocross, after 10 world titles and an outstanding 101 GPs won in his career, will no longer be seen behind the starting gate as he's already fallen into his new role of Motocross Race Director for KTM. His aim will be that to follow and look after the KTM factory riders.There are many teams and riders who hope to win with Everts now out of the game. Let's start right from his old team: the Yamaha Rinaldi team has enlisted the New Zealander JOSHUA COPPINS.Joshua missed out on the first 7 GPs last year due to a bad injury, but once he got back in the championship he was always seen with the lead group and he also won the Irish GP which precluded Stefan Everts from having a "perfect season"Michele and Carlo Rinaldi have chosen Coppins, whose teammate will be the Dutch 24 year old Marc DeReuver who's from the MX2 class, where he got 5th last year on a KTM.Sylvain Geboers, team manager of Suzuki in Europe, has reconfirmed Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon will ride the RM-Z450s. The two young Belgian riders finished 2nd and 3rd last season. It's now their time to win a championship.The Estonian Tanel Leok will ride the Kawasaki KX450F-SR works bike for the Jan De Groot team. Leok wants to improve his performances from 2006 when a shoulder injury affected his results.The new addition to the team is the spectacular and funny Billy Mackenzie, the 23 year old Scottish rider who, after having been in the MX2 class for some years, is now moving on to the MX1.The KTM team is betting a lot on youngsters of MX: the team will be composed of the Spanish Jonathan Barragan who got sixth last year and the Italian David Philippaerts who's raised up a class moving up from the MX2 where he stood out thanks to excellent performances and a third place in the series.As said before it will be interesting to see how much Everts' absence will help out these young riders.The oldest of the Pourcel brothers: Sebastien leaves the MX2 class to move on to the MX1 still on a Kawasaki managed by the team GPKR.The English team Honda Cas still has the young Belgian giant (height) Ken De Dycker, who as far as competitiveness is concerned is growing a lot. Extremely fast on sandy tracks, Ken got 4th in the MX1 World Championship.Once again the "emigrating" Mike Brown comes back to Europe to seek fortune. His last time was in 2005 and his adventure was limited to just one GP in the MX2 class with problems with the team that enlisted him. This year the 35 year old from Tennesse has signed with Neil Prince, team manager of Cas, who will provide him with a CRF450R.The Aprilia team for 2006 starts off with a new enthusiasm and with two new excellent riders: the three time world champion Alessio Chiodi (Italian) and the Belgian Cedric Melotte, who will be riding the powerful Italian V-twins.Another Italian bike, the TM, will be ridden by the Belgian Manuel Priem.Something that's worth mentioning is the WRM. This innovative bike with its peculiarities such as the swingarm and frame in carbon fiber will be ridden by Crsitian Beggi.The young German Max Nagl, despite being on a stock KTM, has demonstrated an excellent speed and style during the international races.The leading pilot for the Honda Martin Team will be the French Antoine Meo, who comes out of a disappointing year due to various injuries.