FUNCHAL, 1 August 2007 - The forthcoming FIM Grand Prix of Belgium will see the Motocross collective back to the historic venue of Namur, which will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Belgian GP.
The MX1 series can see a tremendous change in the points standings, as current leader Joshua Coppins, who injured his left shoulder in Loket, will probably not race the Belgian GP, home of runner up Steve Ramon.
MX2 Championship leader Antonio Cairoli will try to end his longest winless streak of the season in the venue where he won his maiden GP, but runner up Christophe Pourcel has not given up yet.
Namur will also mark the beginning of the second edition of the FIM Veterans Motocross World Cup, which last year was won by Thierry Godfroid Senior class- and Mark Van Den Brink Veteran class. The series has now two rounds, with the second being held at Donington Park on August 26.
Josh Coppins' unpredictable crash in the second heat at Loket had some consequences on the Yamaha Motocross Kiwi's left shoulder there is a small crack in the neck of his glenoid, a part of the shoulder blade- and shortened the over 100 point advantage to a 77 point distance from a hungry Steve Ramon.
While Coppins' participation to this twelfth GP of the season seems now unrealistic He is expected to come back for round 13 at Moneyglass Demesne- the Suzuki's runner up is fully fit and will put on a charge to take his first career MX1 victory in front of the many Belgian fans, who saw Stefan Everts win his tenth Title here last year.
Also Ramon's team mate and countryman Kevin Strijbos looks forward to his home event; Kevin comes from a successful round at Loket, where he conquered his first double victory in the category, rising to fifth in the points standings.
GPKR's Sebastien Pourcel, who was on the podium with brother Christophe last year at Namur, aims at another top three finish, as he has been on the podium for the latest two rounds.
Other KTM Red Bull racer Jonathan Barragan is happy of heading to Namur right after Loket, where he missed a virtual podium because of a crash.
After having showed solid performances on Czech soil, Tanel Leok and Julien Bill will arrive to Namur in top form, expecting another good result.
Suzuki's Japanese rider Youhei Kojima will rejoin the series after his appearance at Sugo, Japan.
Latest round winner Nicolas Aubin of Ricci Racing was a positive surprise for the MX2 class, which has now found the third GP winner of this season after Cairoli and Pourcel. After he has won his first career GP, the 19 year old from Caen will try to put more victories in his recently opened winning account.
Despite a broken left index, the one which is normally used to clinch the clutch, Yamaha De Carli's Antonio Cairoli made to win a heat in Loket but eventually surrendered to Aubin for a valuable second overall. Cairoli, who won at Namur in 2004 first GP win- and 2006, wants to end the longest winless streak of his season, as he missed the victory in the latest two rounds.
Tyla Rattray of KTM Red Bull is currently doubtful for this round; the South African, who twisted his left knee at Loket, will wait until Thursday to see if he will be fit enough to race.
Back from another podium at Loket, an ambitious Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull aims at finishing on the podium of Namur for the first time in his racing career, which begun last year.
The Brit was under pressure because a very motivated Martin Honda's Pascal Leuret was chasing him for fourth in the Championship, but the Frenchman will miss this GP; he broke his left scaphoid at Loket and underwent an operation on Monday, but he will be out for at least one month and a half.
Fourth last year at Namur, British Carl Nunn will come back to the GP scene after an ankle injury kept him out of the latest event, whereas countryman Stephen Sword is getting fitter and fitter, having clinched a solid fourth overall in Loket.
FIM VETERANS MOTOCROSS WORLD CUP
The Cup, being divided into the two classes based on the age Senior and Veteran- started in 2006 with the sole round of Namur. Due to last year's success, one more round at Donington Park on August 26 was added to the Cup's calendar.
Senior class defending Champion Thierry Godfroid is ready to defend the crown, but sixth placed last year Mark Velkeneers will try harder in this opening round, to avoid a Godfroid escape like 2006, when the Belgian won both heats. Jan Postema looks forward to improving on his ninth place from last year, while Dave Thorpe and Graham Noyce will be other new challengers for Godfroid, as both will be at their first World Cup appearance.�
THE CITADELLE CIRCUIT S72 AND NAMUR
The track's name "Citadelle" was added the "S72" part after last year's success of Belgian ten time World Champion Stefan Everts. The course is the longest in the calendar, with its length being slightly under three kilometres, and it is unique in the world. It goes all around the hill which once upon a time was fortified; the ground is intermediate, and the demanding twisty course passes by a wood to arrive to the Esplanade, the main square of the Citadelle which hosts also part of the paddock area.
THE EVENTS SCHEDULE
Saturday August 4: Senior Free Practice at 8:45 am; Veteran Free Practice at 9:15 am; MX2 Free Practice at 10:00 am; MX1 Free Practice 1 at 10:50 am; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice at 11:40 am; Senior Time Practice at 12:30 am; Veteran Time Practice at 1:15 pm; MX1 Free Practice 2 at 2:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 1 at 3:00 pm; MX2 Qualifying Race 2 at 3:45 pm; MX1 Time Practice at 4:15 pm; MX2 Last Chance Qualifying Practice at 5:00 pm; Senior Race 1 at 5:40 pm; Veteran Race1 at 6:30 pm (local time).
Sunday August 5: Senior Warm-up at 8:00 am; Veteran Warm-up at 8:30 am; MX2 Warm-up at 9:00 am; MX1 Warm-up at 9:30 am; Senior Race 2 at 11:08 am; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 at 12:08 am; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 at 1:08 pm; Veteran Race 2 at 2:03 pm; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 at 3:03 pm; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 at 4:03 pm (local time).