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Grand Prix of Sweden - Preview

3 July 2008

David Philippaerts will start this weekend's Grand Prix of Sweden, round nine of 15, just four points clear of Monster Yamaha team-mate Josh Coppins.

The Kiwi, forced to surrender the 2007 championship through injury, had made something of a discreet start to the 2008 season - but consistently racked up points, then delivered a perfect double moto victory last weekend in France to put the heat well and truly on his young Italian team-mate.

Philippaerts meanwhile is nursing a rib injury sustained two races ago in France, but hopes to be in better shape to defend the red plate this weekend in Uddevalla.

Reigning world champion Steve Ramon of Teka Suzuki WMX1 sits third in the championship and just 16 points from the top, while team-mate Ken de Dycker returned to podium form last weekend.

The early championship leader is fourth in the standings, 26 points from the top, and has positive memories of Uddevalla, where he won his maiden MX1 GP in 2007.

Sebastien Pourcel (Kawasaki) and Jonathan Barragan (KTM) round off the top six after a difficult grand prix in Teutschenthal while Tanel Leok (Kawasaki) is now up in seventh courtesy of his first podium of the year in Germany. The Estonian Express took third in last year's Swedish event.

Injured CAS Honda rider Billy Mackenzie put up a brave fight early in both German motos, where he was riding alongside new team-mate Steve Boniface. Both will be looking for better things this weekend.

With Sweden being the only round left before South Africa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Tyla Rattray will do his very best this weekend to keep hold of the red plate, which he regained courtesy of a hard fought victory in Germany.

The latest grand prix was a low point for team-mate and previous title leader Tommy Searle, who qualified badly and suffered a late race fall in moto two, but he nevertheless remains sandwiched between Rattray and reigning double world champion Toni Cairoli.

The Yamaha Red Bull De Carli rider completes a very close top three and is now just 16 points from the Rattray and five from Searle.


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