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Grand Prix of Belgium - Preview
29 July 2009
After a three week break, the final part of the 2009 FIM Motocross World Championships starts with the Belgian GP in Lommel this weekend.
'Rookie' Antonio Cairoli leads the MX1 series by a confident 53 points for Red Bull Yamaha, with KTM's Max Nagl in second place. Nagl won the recent Swedish round and finished third in last year's Lommel round.
Reigning champion David Philippaerts sits in third in the Championship and needs a strong season's finale to trouble countryman Cairoli, being 65 points adrift in the standings.
Racing at home may give LS Motors Honda's Clement Desalle a further confidence boost, with the youngster holding fourth in the championship right ahead of experienced contender Josh Coppins.
Ken de Dycker is another home rider looking for a strong result in Lommel. The Teka Suzuki WMX1 man is sixth in the championship and seeking to start a podium run after being classified third overall in Sweden.
KTM Silver Action's Jonathan Barragan, who won the 2008 Belgian GP, will be back in action this weekend after an injury sunk his title ambitions. Other riders on the comeback list should be Melotte, Bonini, Krestinov - who won his first and only MX2 Grand Prix here in 2008 - plus Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon.
Last year's MX1 Pole Position Award winner Marc de Reuver is still injured but plans a comeback for his home GP at Lierop on August 30. The Dutch sand master also won the opening moto of last year's Belgian GP.
The MX2 World Championship was in danger of being decided off the track, with points leader Marvin Musquin under to ride last time out due to legal issues surrounding his mid-season switch from NGS Honda to Red Bull KTM.
The Frenchman's lead has been slashed to 13 points over Gautier Paulin as a result, with Swedish GP winner Rui Goncalves also closing the gap.
Musquin is due to make a 'comeback' at Lommel onboard the factory KTM machine to defend his lead.
Lommel will also mark the final round of the 2009 FIM Veterans World Cup.
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