The 2009 Motocross World Championships nears the halfway stage this weekend, with the British Grand Prix at Mallory Park, round seven of 15.

In the premier MX1 class, Red Bull Yamaha's Toni Cairoli has now built a healthy 36 point lead over nearest rival Jonathan Barragan (KTM), with Suzuki's Ken de Dycker slipping to third.

Cairoli, winner of the British MX2 event last year, once again looks like being the man to beat this weekend, but Barragan will be aiming to repeat his MX1 victory of one year ago.

de Dycker was second to the Spaniard at last year's inaugural Mallory event, but will be riding injured this weekend having damaged shoulder ligaments and sustained a splinter fracture of his right hand in a first moto crash in Bellpuig two weeks ago.

Behind the top three, Monster Yamaha team-mates Josh Coppins and David Philippaerts are separated by just one point. Reigning world champion Philippaerts picked up an unexpected podium at Bellpuig after a clash with countryman Cairoli at the previous Portuguese round left him with finger damage. Philippaerts, third at Mallory last season, is now 57 points from Cairoli.

Early championship leader Tanel Leok now sits in sixth on the second Red Bull Yamaha ahead of Clement Desalle (Honda) and Max Nagl (KTM), who both missed out on Bellpuig's rostrum by just two points.

Hodling 14th in the standings, home hero Billy Mackenzie of CAS Honda will aim to claim his first podium of the year this weekend after an early season campaign hampered by severe tendonitis.

CCM team-mates Jason Dougan and Tom Church will also look forward to their home event, while PAR Honda rider Brad Anderson will hope to repeat his superb wild-card form in the Hawkstone MX3 round.

Mallory will also see the return of Mickael Pichon to MX1 grand prix racing, after an absence of two years, as a temporary replacement for injured Martin Honda riders Kevin Strijbos and Marc de Reuver.

In the MX2 class Marvin Musquin (Honda) now leads the championship by three points ahead of long time red plate holder Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki), with Davide Guarneri (Yamaha) a steady third and Rui Goncalves (KTM) working his way up the order courtesy of back to back podiums.

Xavier Boog rounds off the top five while Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2 team mate Ken Roczen, who debuted in Portugal eleven days after his 15th birthday, has already shown he is capable of victory by fighting tooth and nail with winner Antony Boissiere in heat two at Bellpuig.

Riding for British-based team Utag-Yamaha, Turkish GP winner Zach Osborne will try to take part in his team's home round despite breaking his left wrist in Portugal.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Shaun Simpson, still the highest home rider in the rankings, will attend the event as a spectator after breaking his left leg in a training accident at the end of April - just three days after winning his maiden heat at Valkenswaard.

The second best home rider is fellow KTM fellow rider Stephen Sword, who was a positive fifth overall last year at Mallory but he is now 17th in the Championship.

The FIM Veterans' World Cup will also join the grand prix series this weekend, for round three of five. Peter Iven currently leads ahead of Mats Nilsson and Alex Puzar.

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