Last time out at Uddevalla in Sweden, MX1 championship leader Josh Coppins failed to finish on the podium for the first time this season, but the hard working Kiwi wants to be back to business in Faenza, which is only two hours away from Team Yamaha's Motocross base at Langhirano.

David Philippaerts of KTM Red Bull is one of four riders to have beaten Coppins to victory - in Teutschenthal - but the Italian MX1 debutant also came close to victory in his first home round at Mantova, where he unfortunately tangled with other riders in both heats.

Faenza will be Philippaerts' chance of revenge, but the MX1 collective has now found a new threat in the imposing shape of Ken de Dycker.

CAS Honda's Belgian raced a fantastic Swedish Grand Prix, to conquer both his maiden heat win and maiden grand prix victory. de Dycker now seems to have finally found the consistency needed to top the podium regularly and should be a serious contender from now on.

Suzuki's Steve Ramon is currently sitting in the runner-up position, just in front of Philippaerts, but the former 125cc world champion has not won an MX1 Grand Prix yet. Ramon made up ground on Coppins in Sweden, but he is still 89 points away from the lead.

KTM Red Bull's Jonathan Barragan is returning to form after an early season shoulder injury; following a storming Bulgarian Grand Prix - with one heat win and a podium - the Spaniard was expected to do better than seventh in Uddevalla, but will have the chance to make up for that disappointment this weekend.

Kevin Strijbos of Suzuki will reach Faenza in better shape than in Sweden; the 2006 runner up to Stefan Everts has been suffering a lot with a knee injury, sitting out of the Bulgarian round after he underwent surgery.

On the other hand, Tanel Leok of Kawasaki Racing Europe is on a season high, having raced to two solid motos in Sweden to finish on the overall podium for the second time this season.

In the MX2 class, the flamboyant Antonio Cairoli of Yamaha De Carli continues to demoralise his rivals with incredible performances. The Italian will have a dedicated grandstand this weekend, and looks forward to coming back to Italy, where he conquered one of his six double heat victories at Mantova in early May.

While Cairoli will be preparing a special celebration for his home fans, as announced in a recent press conference, Tyla Rattray of KTM Red Bull will be looking for a way to pass current runner-up Christophe Pourcel in the points standings.

Both had a disappointing Swedish Grand Prix, with Rattray twisting his knee in the opening heat, and reigning world champion Pourcel - the only rider to defeat Cairoli this season - being left behind at the start gate and struggling to work his way up through the pack.

On the other hand Tommy Searle of KTM Red Bull reached a new high in Scandinavia by winning his maiden GP heat in front of Cairoli. The Briton went on to take his second consecutive podium - and fifth of the season - the claqw important backs back on Pourcel and Rattray.

Searle is followed in the championship by Pascal Leuret of Martin Honda, the only Honda rider to podium in MX2 thanks to a third place overall in Portugal.

Sweden was an important step forward for German Marcus Schiffer of KTM Sarholz; Schiffer took his first career podium after two hard fought motos, but in Faenza he needs to demonstrate that he can also be consistent.

Exploiting a pause in the UEM-European Motocross Championship, series leader Deny Philippaerts, latest round winner Gautier Paulin, Maxime Lesage, Andrea Cervellin, Giuseppe Di Palma, Marco Maddii, Loic Rombaut and Marvin Musquin will enter this round of the world championship.


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