FIM Motocross Grand Prix Of Italy - Dirt Rider Magazine Online

FIM MOTOCROSS GRAND PRIX OF ITALY BACK TO MANTOVA THIS WEEKEND FUNCHAL, 2 May 2007- After a week break, the FIM Motocross World Championship is all set on a fabulous Grand Prix of Italy, to be held this weekend on the Circuito Internazionale Citta di Mantova.The last GP hosted by the Italian track was in 2000, but now there is a different layout for the circuit hosting the 51st edition of the Italian GP.There is big news in MX1, as Kevin Strijbos opened his winning account in Portugal, by snatching the first win of the season from series leader Joshua Coppins. The two will have to face home rider David Philippaerts, who just clinched his maiden MX1 podium at Agueda, but also Steve Ramon and Jonathan Barragan are expected to come back to the top three.In the MX2 class, an ultra-motivated Antonio Cairoli heads to his home GP with the status of series leader, and winner of all the three events that were held so far. Tony has been incredible, but a very fast Christophe Pourcel is coming up; on the other hand, Tyla Rattray is losing ground, and is looking for victory in Mantova. MX1Thanks to a breathtaking second moto, Suzuki's Kevin Strijbos was the winner of the Grand Prix of Portugal, ahead of Yamaha Motocross' Josh Coppins and KTM Red Bull's David Philippaerts, winner of last year's MX2 Grand Prix of Italy.This is the trio that fans expect on the podium at Mantova, with Coppins being fitter as he raced with injured foot and groin in Portugal.But CAS Honda's Ken De Dycker will head to Italy with more confidence, after he won the latest round of his home Championship. The Belgian was always fast, and also clinched his maiden pole at the opening round at Valkenswaard, but missed the consistency so far.Other Suzuki factory rider Steve Ramon needs to make up for two disappointing GP's in Spain and Portugal, and shorten the 58 point gap from Coppins, before the leader breaks away.The same goes for KTM Red Bull's Spaniard Jonathan Barragan, who had troubles with his shoulder in the last couple of rounds.With KTM riders Max Nagl and David Philippaerts being the first two MX1 debutants to step up on the podium, GPKR's Sebastien Pourcel aims at being the third one, as he is getting stronger and stronger race by race.Belgian Manuel Priem will race his factory TM on the machine's stomping grounds; the Italian manufacturer is working on a new bike with aluminium frame, that will be ready by the Swedish Grand Prix.Other Italian manufacturer Aprilia will see Cedric Melotte's comeback this weekend, with the Belgian joining team mate Alessio Chiodi.In the points standings, Aprilia and other Italian manufacturer WRM -ridden by the sole Cristian Beggi- are level on two points.

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Winners of the 2005 Grand Prix of Italy, Antonio Cairoli and team Yamaha De Carli had a storming start to the 2007 season, and won all rounds so far. The gutsy Italian always has an impressive rhythm towards the end of the race, which seems to be his winning strategy.On the other hand, current runner up Christophe Pourcel of team GPKR is one of those getting the best starts, but he normally drops the pace in the last laps. But the defending Champion is working on that, and will be more consistent this weekend.KTM Red Bull's South African Tyla Rattray lost important points in Portugal because of a mechanical failure, but as a sand specialist, he can make up for it on the Italian track.Frenchman Pascal Leuret gifted Honda a podium in Agueda, and now holds fourth in the points standings. The privateer looks solid and motivated this year, and aims at confirming his status of fittest Honda rider. Top four riders have to watch out from 16 year old Tommy Searle of the KTM Red Bull Team, who is climbing up the points standings, since he got the first podium of 2007 in Portugal.

CIRCUITO INTERNAZIONALE CITTA DI MANTOVA AND MANTOVAA lot of work has been carried out on the sandy Italian track, that was designed with the cooperation of former World Champion Michele Rinaldi, and was then inaugurated in 1982. The Circuito Internazionale Citta di Mantova was modified after the February's Starcross, and is now 1650 metre long, exactly as it was at the 2000 edition of the Italian Grand Prix. The track area covers about 11 hectares, and it is located inside the Natural Park of the river Mincio. The hills surrounding the circuit have the shape of an arena, which can let the spectators watch almost the whole circuit from anywhere.The 22000 square metre paddock area is ready to host the whole FIM Motocross World Championship circus this weekend, as the car park for spectators can host up to 10000 vehicles, and will be connected to the track area by a shuttle service. Mantova is located in the centre of the Pianura Padana, the biggest flatland in Italy. It has more than 52000 inhabitants, and it was the base of one of the most famous Italian dynasties: the Gonzaga, who ruled the city for four centuries, since 1328. The Gonzaga built the Palazzo Ducale, one of the most important attractions of the city; moreover, there are bulidings like the Palazzo Te, Torre dell'Orologio, and the Basilica di Sant' Andrea that are definitely worth a visit.Among the most important characters of Mantova, there are the poet Virgil, and the driver Tazio Nuvolari. THE EVENT'S SCHEDULE The FIM Motocross Grand Prix of Italy will start on Saturday, May 5, at 10.00 am with the MX2 Free Practice. The races will be on Sunday, May 6, starting from 12.08 am. The KL Kawasaki Trophy will be held both on Saturday and Sunday, as a side event. Information and results on http://www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships. 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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