Preview – Grand Prix of Italy.

The shortest and quickest way from Sevlievo in Bulgaria to Matterley Basin in England, rounds six and eight of the 2006 Motocross World Championship season, does not involve passing through Montevarchi in Italy.

But Motocross is never an easy option and, just one week after the Bulgarian GP - won by Stefan Everts in MX1 and Marc de Reuver in MX2 - the paddock trucks are heading for the UFO Grand Prix of Italy which will be held at Montevarchi, a small Tuscan city of about 22,000 inhabitants.

The town's Miravalle circuit hosted its first race in 1969 with the world championship returning only occasionally since then, with the most recent grand prix in 2003 – when Everts and countryman Joel Smets took victory.

Three years on and Everts will start as the overwhelming favourite for another win after being undefeated, in terms of overall grand prix triumphs, during the first part of his final season.

The nine-times world champion has benefited from injuries to his main rivals, leaving young guns Tanel Leok, Kevin Strijbos, Ken de Dycker and Steve Ramon to take on the legend.

Italians are noticeably absent from that list, but the home fans will have plenty of reason to cheer in the MX2 class - where Italians Antonio Cairoli, the reigning world champion, and David Philippaerts currently lie fourth and fifth in the world championship standings. Alessio Chiodi will also be racing, having missed the previous round in Sevlievo.

The main they are all chasing at present is 17-year-old Kawasaki star Christophe Pourcel, who is now just two points ahead of KTM's De Reuver - with team-mate, and early season leader, Tyla Rattray now in third.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Italian Motocross grand prix circuit at Montevarchi.
Action from the Italian Motocross grand prix at Montevarchi.
Antonio Cairoli - Yamaha.
Motocross Grand Prix racing
Ryan Villopoto as his last GP race in Arco di Trento, Italy
Team USA takes 20th Motocross of Nations win.
The 2009 Motocross of Nations track at Franciacorta, Italy takes shape.
The Mallory Park British Motocross Grand Prix track
Tanel Leok wins a muddy Faenza MX1 season opener.
MX1 start, Mantova, Italy.
The Mantova circuit in Italy.
The Bellpuig grand prix circuit.
The 2009 FIM Motocross of Nations will take place at the Autodromo Daniel Bonara in Franciacorta, Italy.
Italy`s Antonio Cairoli at the 2007 Motocross of Nations.
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.

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