Grand Prix of Belgium - Preview.

Lommel in Belgium hosts the first of five remaining rounds in the 2008 MX1 and MX2 Motocross World Championship this weekend.

David Philippaerts holds the MX1 red plate but is being closely pursued by reigning world champion Steve Ramon and his own Monster Yamaha team-mate Josh Coppins.

Ramon and Teka Suzuki team-mate Ken de Dycker will be racing on home soil this weekend, with Steve starting the event just 11 points from Philippaerts while Coppins needs to find better first lap form to help bridge the 12 point gap to Ramon and keep de Dycker at bay.

Meanwhile, AXO KTM Silver Action's Jonathan Barragan and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Max Nagl are in excellent form at the moment. The Spaniard took his third GP win of the year last time out in South Africa, where the German led most of both motos for a solid second overall.

Although the sandy Lommel course might not be their preferred hunting ground, Barragan and Nagl will both hope to improve on their fifth and seventh place in the championship.

By contrast, the conditions should suit Marc de Reuver perfectly, during the Dutchman's return from a left foot injury.

After suffering an opening moto knee injury in South Africa, defending double MX2 world champion Antonio Cairoli is now out of the title chase. Cairoli, who sits 59 points behind Tyla Rattray and 38 from the South African's KTM team-mate Tommy Searle, underwent an operation to his left knee and will not take part in the remaining GPs.
Searle was the winner of the South African GP where home rider Rattray took second on the podium and victory in moto two. The championship leader is now looking forward to the sandy Belgian track where he plans his revenge on his favourite racing conditions.

KTM UK's Shaun Simpson and Ricci Racing Yamaha's Nicolas Aubin are fourth and fifth in the series respectively, but aiming to improve their championship position by overtaking the absent Cairoli. The same goes for sixth placed Rui Goncalves.

The Grand Prix of Belgium weekend will start with 'MX Rookie', an event dedicated to amateur MX2 riders, and also feature a round of the Veterans' World Cup, where Belgian Peter Iven is leading from defending champion Dave Thorpe.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
David Philippaerts - Yamaha.
Mel enjoys the racing at Lommel
Lommel Start
A GP win in LOmmel was a fantastic result for Simpson
A practice crash spelt the end to Desalle`s season
The big quad was a race winner
The big quad was a race winner
David Philippaerts – Monster Yamaha
David Philippaerts - Yamaha.
David Philippaerts - Yamaha.
Cairoli and Philippaerts.
Tony Cairoli and David Philippaerts.
David Philippaerts celebrates 2008 MX1 glory.
David Philippaerts – Yamaha.
David Philippaerts - Monster Yamaha.
David Philippaerts - Yamaha.
Davide Philippaerts – Yamaha.
David Philippaerts soldiered on to finish second in Spain.

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