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Grand Prix of Sweden - Preview
2 July 2009
A demanding run of three back-to-back races will end this weekend with the Grand Prix of Sweden, at Uddevalla, round eleven of the 2009 Motocross World Championship.
Superstar MX1 rookie Antonio Cairoli will start the event with a safe 57 point lead over Max Nagl, having won four grands prix so far this season – including the last two events.
The Red Bull Yamaha star's latest triumph came at the expense of Clement Desalle of LS Motors Honda, fast proving to be the surprise of the season. The young Belgian won the first moto by metres over Cairoli, but the Italian's race two win handed him the overall over Desalle, who had clutch issues in the final race.
Desalle is now fifth in the championship but just 19 points behind new runner-up Nagl. The German of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing struggled in the second Latvian heat but still managed to move past defending champion Philippaerts in the points standings.
The latter dropped down to third ahead of Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross team-mate Josh Coppins, coming back to the podium at Kegums after two strong rides.
Cairoli aside, the group of riders spread from second to sixth in the championship are covered by just 30 points with the list of riders including Teka Suzuki's Ken De Dycker, whose Latvian GP was hampered by a first moto crash. Sweden is a milestone venue for De Dycker, who took his maiden overall win at Uddevalla in 2007.
Barragan will not be able to try and repeat his 2008 Swedish GP victory, with the Spaniard due to return at Lommel together with Silver Action KTM team-mate Gert Krestinov.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if American Matt Boni will jump onboard the Factory 450 Honda seat left vacant by injured Billy Mackenzie of CAS Honda.
One 'new' rider certain to appear at the Swedish GP - closest to his home country of Norway - is former GP winner Ken Gundersen, who will reinforce Yamaha's line up this weekend as a wild-card rider.
In the MX2 class there is Musquin on top with Paulin and Goncalves completing the top three.
Returning to victory onboard his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine in superb Latvian weekend, Rui Goncalves is confident for Uddevalla. With three GP wins now in the bag, the Portuguese stormed to third in the championship to put runner up Gautier Paulin in his sights.
The goal will keep Goncalves busy in the forthcoming weekend as he tries to close the 21 point gap to the Frenchman.
Championship leader Marvin Musquin is 49 points ahead of Paulin and, courtesy of a second overall finish, the factory KTM mounted Frenchman took his fourth consecutive podium at Kegums. He also collected as many points as overall winner Goncalves and thus prevented any damage to his solid championship lead.
Kawasaki Bud Racing PSM's Paulin completed the podium in Latvia with the country marking his podium comeback after an absence of two races.
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