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Preview – Grand Prix of France.

After a well-deserved weekend off after Japan, the 2007 Motocross World Championships will be back in action on European soil this weekend for the seventh round of the series at Saint Jean d'Angely, France.

In the premier MX1 class, there have been four winners so far this season - but none of them French. However, rookie Sebastien Pourcel has already taken a podium finish and could well be in contention for what would be an emotional home victory.

Nevertheless, the 22-year-old will have to overcome dominant championship leader Josh Coppins to do so. The Kiwi's perfect podium consistency has helped him build a lead of over 60 points - despite the Yamaha star losing the last two GPs.

Under much greater pressure will be under performing Suzuki's team-mates Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon - second and third in the points - while KTM's rookie David Philippaerts currently rounds out the top five, having already tasted victory champagne in Teutschenthal.

Another rookie won in Japan in the form of Kawasaki Racing Europe's Billy Mackenzie, who will be looking to carry his Sugo form this weekend as a fitting tribute to team manager Jan de Groot - whose memory will be honoured with a minute's silence this weekend.

Japan also saw a breakthrough moto win by CAS Honda's Mike Brown and the fast-starting American will be hoping to continue that race long form this weekend.

The full Team Off Road Aprilia line-up will also be back in France where, after an intense period of testing, both Cedric Melotte and Alessio Chiodi will have important evolutions on their MXV machines.

In the MX2 class, the scene is set for a thrilling home battle between former world champion and current series leader Antonio Cairoli and home hero and reigning champion Christophe Pourcel – who only ended the Italian's perfect start to 2007 last time out in Japan.

KTM Red Bull's Tyla Rattray has been a solid contender so far, earning third in the championship, and he is only 10 points away from runner up Pourcel. Tyla came close to winning his first moto of the season in Sugo - perhaps that victory can come this weekend.

The South African's team-mate Tommy Searle was once again on the podium at Sugo - the third since he joined KTM in 2007 - but the result was not enough to break away from Martin Honda's Pascal Leuret, who will be hyper motivated for his home event.

The FIM Motocross Grand Prix of France will be held on Sunday June 10th, with practice and qualifying taking place on the preceding Saturday.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Josh Coppins - Yamaha.
David Philippaerts - KTM.
Christophe Pourcel - Kawasaki.
The Mallory Park British Motocross Grand Prix track
The Bellpuig grand prix circuit.
USA (1st), France (2nd) and Belgium (3rd) on the 2007 Motocross of Nations podium.
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.
Christophe Pourcel on his way to being crowned 2006 MX2 Motocross World Champion at the final round in France.
Ten times world champion Stefan Everts on his way to victory in his last ever Motocross grand prix, at Ernee, France on September 17, 2006.

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