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Preview - Grand Prix of Spain.

Reigning nine-times world champion Stefan Everts and returning rival Sebastien Tortelli head for the second round of the 2006 MX1 Motocross World Championship tied on top of the standings.

Each took a race win and runner-up finish at the Zolder season opener, with Everts given the victor's trophy due to his higher race two finish, and the pair are expected to renew their exciting rivalry this weekend in Spain.

In some ways Zolder was a 'phoney war' - since neither rider actually overtook the other - and race fans will hope for some bar-to-bar action up front this weekend. Both Everts and Tortelli look at the peak of their considerable talents and the Spanish Grand Prix - like the 2006 championship - could well be decided by who makes the least mistakes... unless other riders can step up and start taking points from them.

The indication, at Zolder at least, is that few are currently capable of matching the multiple world champions up front - with Kawasaki's Tanel Leok and Suzuki riders Steve Ramon and Kevin Strijbos a distant best of the rest in the Grand Prix of Flanders - but a change from sand to a more hard-packed track surface could shake up the order.

Bellpuig has been the host of the Spanish Grand Prix every year since 2001 and the hilly circuit in western Catalunya offers a fast and spectacular visual treat for a traditionally large crowd. The Easter period is a popular holiday time, and it is unsure whether this will affect this weekend's attendance, but the weather forecast predicts cloudy and bright conditions with higher temperatures on Sunday.

Not present, at least in a racing capacity, will be 2005 MX1 runner-up Josh Coppins - who pulled out of round one due to a shoulder injury for which he has now undergone surgery - and Tortelli's factory KTM team-mate Mickael Pichon - the former world champion being forced to withdraw from competition while he recovers from a stubborn virus.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stefan Everts - Intur Sports Yamaha (pic: Yamaha).
Sebastien Tortelli  - KTM (pic: R. Archer).
The Mallory Park British Motocross Grand Prix track
David Philippaerts soldiered on to finish second in Spain.
Steve Ramon survives the rain in Spain for his first MX1 victory.
Davide Guarneri on his way to MX2 victory in Spain.
Toine van Dijk on his way to Veterans World Cup victory in Spain.
The Bellpuig grand prix circuit.
Antonio Cairoli won his second MX2 world title at the 2007 Grand Prix of Northern Ireland.
Stefan Everts announces his participation in the Gotland Grand National enduro race.
MX1 action from the 2007 Grand Prix of Germany.
Max Nagl is announced as a factory KTM rider for the nest three years at the 2007 Grand Prix of Germany.
Agueda, home of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Agueda, home of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
CMS/FIM president Dr. Wolfgang Srb, AMA Pro Racing director Steve Whitelock and Youthstream president Giuseppe Luongo discuss the future of motocross at the 2007 Grand Prix of Spain.
Ten times world motocross champion Stefan Everts on his way to victory in his very final grand prix, at Ernee, France, on September 17 2006.
Ten times world motocross champion Stefan Everts celebrates victory in his very final grand prix, at Ernee, France, on September 17 2006.
Ten times world motocross champion Stefan Everts (and friends) celebrate victory in his very final grand prix, at Ernee, France, on September 17 2006.

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