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Grand Prix of Ireland - Preview

29 August 2008

Round 13 of the 2008 MX1 and MX2 Motocross World Championships take place at Fairyhouse Racecourse near Dublin in Ireland this weekend.

The Fairyhouse circuit is a brand-new venue for motocross and is still currently being constructed after the wet weather that's hit the Dublin area recently halted track building work.

Designed by Youthstream's Greg Atkins, the track will be over 1600 metres in length and is expected to have 19 different jumps. The weather forecast for this weekend suggests more rain in the Dublin area, making deep mud a certainty.

David Philippaerts took the MX1 championship lead back from Steve Ramon by seven points last time out at Loket, with the Italian's Monster Yamaha team-mate Josh Coppins 35 points behind with three rounds to go and being chased by Jonathan Barragan of AXO KTM Silver Action and Ramón's Teka Suzuki team-mate Ken de Dycker.

Barragan is currently on a roll as he took his fourth consecutive podium in Loket after three back to back GP wins, while de Dycker reinforced his championship position after a podium in Lommel.

GPKR's Sebastien Pourcel and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Max Nagl are also looking upwards in the standings.

The Frenchman was back on the podium in Loket, taking second overall to make his first podium return since victory on home soil in mid-June. On the other hand Nagl, who has been reconfirmed in next year's works KTM squad, has been performing well ever since his second overall in South Africa.

Alessio Chiodi is due to miss this GP and Lierop due to an arm problem while home star Gordon Crockard will make a popular return to action this weekend.

Kevin Strijbos, who returned to action in Loket, aims at making up for a difficult Czech GP and so does Briton Billy Mackenzie, who crashed out of the opening heat after a promising start.

Fellow Briton Tommy Searle is likely to benefit from the support of travelling British fans as he seeks to close the 20 point gap to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team-mate Tyla Rattray, as the pair chase their first - and perhaps last - MX2 title before changing categories for 2009.


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