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Grand Prix of Latvia - Preview
25 June 2009
The tenth round of the 2009 FIM Motocross World Championship season will see the MX1 and MX2 series head to Kegums for its maiden appearance in Latvia.
Returning to the top step of the podium in Teutschenthal last weekend, two time MX2 world champion Tony Cairoli of Yamaha Red Bull De Carli will enter Kegums with the red plate and 41 points more than defending champion David Philippaerts.
Yamaha Monster Energy rider Philippaerts missed the podium in Germany where he finished fourth overall. With only six grands prix remaining in the 2009 season, Philippaerts will be hungry for victories in order to close the gap to Cairoli and prevent Max Nagl from snatching the runner-up spot in the forthcoming rounds.
The German, who took his third consecutive podium at home last weekend, has worked his way up through the standings. The Red Bull KTM man is now just four points from Philippaerts.
The Italian's team-mate Josh Coppins is fourth in the series but a fast Clement Desalle is a potential danger to the Kiwi's ambitions. Sixth in standings, Teka Suzuki WMX1's Ken De Dycker also remains a threat as he seeks to regain his early season form.
As the closest grand prix to their home country of Estonia, the Leok cousins Tanel and Aigar will be looking for a strong result to please their supporters. Tanel Leok, in his first year with the Yamaha Red Bull De Carli outfit, won the flooded opening round in Faenza but has now slipped to seventh, while Factory TM rider Aigar Leok is ninth.
In Latvia Honda will be without two of its major players in the form of Billy Mackenzie and Mickael Pichon. The British rider is back home to have a troublesome hand operated on, while multiple world champion Pichon ended his three GP experience with Martin Honda last weekend.
Despite interrupting an incredible winning streak of four moto wins, after a crash in race one in Germany, KTM mounted Marvin Musquin retained the MX2 championship lead with victory in race two.
But the day belonged to young German Ken Roczen, whose 2-2 results made him the youngest GP winner ever at the age of 15 years and 53 days only.
The Teka Suzuki rider will be out for his first moto victory this weekend and, despite missing the opening rounds, is already up to eighth in the championship.
The penultimate round of the FIM Veterans' World Cup will also take place in Latvia.
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