After two weeks break the FIM Motocross World Championship is ready to celebrate the eighth Grand Prix of the season, which will mark the mid-point of the 2013 campaign. The well-known track of Ernée will host the French Grand Prix this weekend after four years absence in the calendar, so a huge crowd is expected to turn up to cheer for their local heroes.
A part from hosting the eighth Grand Prix of the FIM MX1 and MX2 World Championship, Ernée will witness the second round of the EMX250 European Championship, which will count with more than 100 entered riders.
The leader of the MX1 class keeps on being Antonio Cairoli who will face the French Grand Prix with 52 points advantage over Gautier Paulin who is holding the second position in the standings. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider has not taken part in any race during this two-weeks break, but he has been training hard in order to obtain another overall victory in Ernée where he won in 2006 when he was still racing in the MX2 class.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin is really excited to taking part in the French Grand Prix this weekend. In the Grand Prix of Brazil he finished fifth overall, but he won two Grand Prix in a row – Bulgaria and Sevlievo – and he knows that he can hand his public another overall victory as he is feeling better than ever on his Kawasaki.
The third position in the MX1 point standings is for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle, who is eleven points behind Paulin and twenty-two points ahead of Ken De Dycker. The Belgian rider has not had any break after the Grand Prix of Brazil, as he decided to take part in two rounds of the National series in the USA. Desalle needs to do well in France if he wants to keep on fighting for the MX1 Title.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker has been struggling in the last Grand Prix and he has lost the second position in the point standings and he is now fourth. The Belgian is determined to obtain a top three result this upcoming weekend in France in order to have his confidence back and try to enter the top three of the MX1 point standings.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos holds the fifth position in the championship and he will take part in the Grand Prix of France after finishing on the third step of the podium in Beto Carrero, Brazil. The Belgian rider took also part in two national races in the USA in order to keep on training and try to repeat his podium finish this weekend in Ernée.
Tommy Searle is undergoing his learning year in the MX1 class and he is currently sixth in the championship fifteen points behind Strijbos. The British rider has had two weeks to recover from his injured finger, so he will be fully fit to take part in the French Grand Prix. Max Nagl, who was racing at his best in Brazil winning the qualifying race and finishing fourth overall tight in points with Strijbos, is looking forward to racing this weekend in Ernée and he will do his best to obtain what it would be his first podium of the season and the first one also with Honda. The German rider has really good memories of Ernée because he won the French Grand prix in 2009.
Rui Gonçalves is eighth in the MX1 point standings and Jeremy Van Horebeek and David Philippaerts are completing the top ten.
Xavier Boog has missed the last two Grand Prix due to a broken ankle, but next weekend he will be back on his KTM machine to race in front of his home crowd. Another rider who will be back from an injury next weekend is Matiss Karro who seems to be fully fit again after finishing on the podium in the British National series.
Steven Frossard was getting ready to be back on his Yamaha for the French Grand Prix, but unfortunately he injured his right knee ligaments while training last weekend.
In the MX2 class Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings keeps on being the red plate holder with a comfortable advantage of 90 points over his teammate Jordi Tixier who is currently second in the standings. The Dutch rider has won all the Grand Prix so far, but in Brazil José Butrón won the second heat and his winning streak was broken. Despite being a little bit disappointed for not having been able to win the second moto in Beto Carrero, Herlings will keep on giving his best at every Grand Prix to be on the top of the podium and get closer to what it would be his second FIM MX2 World Title.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s MX2 Jordi Tixier is having a really consistent season and he has finished on the podium in four out of the seven Grand Prix. Although he knows that Herlings is really strong this season, Tixier’s dream is conquering the first step of the rostrum at some point this season and as this weekend he is racing home, it would be a perfect scenario for him to achieve this goal.
KTM Silver Action’s José Butrón succeeded in finishing second overall in Brazil and he is now third in the MX2 point standings. The Spanish rider is four points ahead of Glenn Coldenhoff and his goal now is keeping such position until the end of the championship. Butrón is in the best moment of his professional career and after winning the fifth round of the Spanish Championship last weekend, Butrón is fully fit to face the eighth round of the FIM MX2 World Championship.
Standing Construct KTM´s Glenn Coldenhoff obtained his second pole of the season in the Grand Prix of Brazil and he finished second in the first race. However, his twelfth position in the Super Final made him finish fourth overall and he dropped down to the fourth position in the point standings. Coldenhoff is just four points behind Butrón, so his goal this weekend is racing two consistent motos to claim back the third position of the MX2 championship.
This weekend Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier, who is fifth in the standings of the MX2 championship, will race home and he will count with all the French supporters that will travel to Ernée to cheer for their local heroes. Charlier has crossed the finish line third in three occasions this year, but he has not been able to finish on the podium, so this weekend he will give his best to hand his supporters the so expected result.
Dean Ferris has been really consistent in the last Grand Prix of the season and his second overall position in Portugal proved that he can be a rider to fight for the top three positions every weekend. At the moment the Australian is sixth in the point standings, followed by Max Anstie and Jake Nicholls. Both Anstie and Nicholls have not been really lucky in the previous Grand Prix, so they are determined to do well this weekend and move up some positions in the championship.
Alessandro Lupino and Mel Pocock are completing the top ten of the FIM MX2 World Championship standings.
Home riders Dylan Ferrandis and Maxime Desprey, twelfth and fifteenth respectively in the FIM MX2 World Championship, are looking forward to racing home this weekend and try to finish among the top ten of the MX2 class.
Saturday: EMX250 Group A Free Practice 8:00, EMX250 Group B Free Practice 8:35; MX2 Free Practice 9:30; MX1 Free Practice 10:15; EMX250 Group A Qualifying Time Practice 11:00; EMX250 Group B Qualifying Time Practice 11:45; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice 13:15; MX1 Pre-Qualifying Practice 14:00; EMX250 Semi Final Group A 15:00; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MX1 Qualifying Race 17:00, EMX250 Semi Final Group B 17:50; EMX250 Last Chance Qualifying 19:00.
Sunday: EMX250 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; EMX250 FINAL 11:15; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:01; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:07.