Suzuki's Steve Ramon seized the world championship lead last weekend at Donington Park, when Josh Coppins - holder of the red plate since the start of the season - attempted an early return from injury, but was a shadow of his usual self and pulled out of race two due to the pain from his broken shoulder.
Coppins will thus start the title showdown 14 points behind Ramon, who is himself riding with a wrist injury - but is now the overwhelming favourite to land the 2007 crown… unless bad luck strikes or Coppins makes a miracle recovery in the limited time available.
"It feels good to be leading the championship at last; it is what we have all been working for and it just took a long time to get here!" said Ramon. "There is one GP to go and I just want to finish the races and stay calm. Lierop is hard physically but it will better for my wrists than Ireland or Donington. I can feel a small improvement now anyway."
"There has been more attention and pressure this week; a lot of phone calls! However I have kept to the normal routine," he added. "I think a win at the weekend will not be easy but I have to remain concentrated and finish the job."
Even if Coppins wins both races on Sunday, Ramon needs only to finish no lower than third and fourth in the two races to make sure of his second world championship and first in MX1.
"Since round 10 in the Czech Republic Steve has been riding with a partly broken scaphoid and this has not helped his results," confirmed Suzuki team principal Sylvain Geboers. "The injury situation with Josh is a pity, but a championship runs over 15 rounds. There is still one round to go and we hope we can finish it properly and take the title."
Last weekend at Donington Park, newly crowned MX2 world champion Antonio Cairoli stormed to a brilliant debut MX1 win - but the speedy Sicilian will return to his 250cc Yamaha and chase his 20th MX2 win in the season finale
With 2006 champion Christophe Pourcel absent through injury, it will be left to the likes of Donington winner Tommy Searle to provide Cairoli with a challenge.