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FIM MX World Champs 2014

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Tackling the second destination within the Scandinavian region of Europe, round thirteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship gets all set to shift some sand at the compact and soft surfaced track in Hyvinkää, Finland, this weekend, July 13.

Prior to last year, the last FIM Motocross Grand Prix held at this particular circuit was back in 1991 when local legend Pekka Vehkonen claimed victory in front of his home crowd.

This year will mark MXGP’s second consecutive return to Hyvinkää this decade, which based on statistics, will more than likely play right into the hands of the current FIM Motocross World Championship leaders and defending champions Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings who both took home double victories in 2013 and have proved on many occasions their skill, speed and stamina in the sand is second to none.

As a special edition to the MXGP and MX2 racing, the little guys tearing up Europe on 65 and 85’s will be racing their one and only round of the European EMX65 and EMX85 championships while the European Championship EMX250 and EMX300 will line up for their semi-final round this season.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was looking solid last weekend in Sweden admitting he is back into the full swing of things training wise and is starting to feel better on the bike each and every outing.

Meanwhile, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek doesn’t mind a sand race every now and then although he has said to prefer harder surfaces. Given his ridiculous record of podium finishes, a staggering eleven out of twelve, putting your money on Van Horebeek for yet another podium finish this weekend is more or less a safe bet.

This weekend’s underdog will more than likely be Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos. Like Van Horebeek, coming from Belgium, Strijbos knows how to get things done in the sand, which will be a solid asset for him and his burning desire to move up a step or two on the podium.

While Team HRC’s Max Nagl is no threat to the championship after being M.I.A, missing in action at five rounds recently due to injury, the German, who is still a free agent for 2015, is out to prove he’s got the goods to be a front-runner next year.

Another still on the come-back from injury, CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Tommy Searle has started to look a little more aggressive out on the circuit lately. While it’s a commonly known fact the

Brit doesn’t rate himself as the best sand rider in the world, he knows he’s good enough to be in the top five and with his name on the entry list for the British Championship which is set to take place next weekend at a sandy circuit, you can count on Searle to be cranking laps in the dunes this week in preparation.

Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Ferris feels like he’s not yet shown his cards. Coming into Hyvinkää the Australian will have had two weeks riding and testing with the team since his arrival from the USA early last week. After standing on the second step of the podium here in MX2 last year, the twenty-four-year-old will be radiating confidence and eager to set in an equally good performance this weekend in MXGP.

Last but not least, it’s not yet known if we can expect to see Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle on the grid this weekend after his gnarly first turn crash in Sweden. While it has been released the Belgian has been given the ‘all clear’ by the docs, the twenty-five year old has gone on to say he is feeling very stiff and second-hand. Maybe the fact he trails his fellow countryman Van Horebeek by twelve, meaning second in the championship is still achievable, will be enough motivation to soldier on.

MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 527 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 482 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 470 p.; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 390 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 267 p.; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 265 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 237 p.; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 210 p.; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 207 p.; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 205 p.

Not taking anything away from the rest of the competition in the MX2, but you’d have to have a screw loose to bet against Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings on a sand circuit. While many scratch their head as to what motivates the nineteen-year-old motocross sensation, we can tell you this weekend it’s a perfect score which will allow him to walk away with the possibility of FIM MX2 World Title number three being wrapped up at the following round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Loket, Czech Republic.

Another rider who has the talent to be a threat for the 2015 MX2 title, but is yet un-signed, is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier. At the moment, Tixier lands on the podium 50% of the time with six from twelve podium finishes to his name. After successfully uncorking a bottle of bubbly at the last four rounds of MX2, it would appear Tixier has the ball rolling.

He’s the baby of the MX2 class, at the tender age of seventeen, yet rides with maturity and a skill base beyond his years. A lot of eyes are on Honda Gariboldi’s humble and friendly Slovenian Tim Gajser as he continues to impress with his speed and style, and now his results, too.

There wouldn’t be many hungrier for a podium finish than Valentin Guillod and his team Standing Construct KTM. While he’s managed to win qualifying races, and rip holeshots, the talented Swiss always finds himself up against lady luck. A podium before the season is out will be the cherry on the cake for Guillod, after a long hard fought season of coming so close but yet so far.

Five rounds to make something spectacular happen before moving up to MXGP, the pressure is on Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre. With the team being based right near the world renowned dunes of Lommel, Febvre is not shy of the sand and could well be a safe bet for a podium finish, if he manages to keep the bike rubber side down.

Meanwhile, tearing it up for the locals Sahkar Racing’s Harri Kullas looked keener than ever last weekend in Sweden when he ripped the holeshot in the qualifying heat. An attempt for another holeshot in race one backfired when the Fin plowed straight into the gate instead. Either way, we took notice and he did manage to bank fifteen points over the weekend. If he brings that determined attitude to the line again this weekend, there’s no doubt the youngster will make his home crowd proud.

MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 544 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 409 p.; 3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 389 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 388 p.; 5. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 372 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 350 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 288 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 284 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 265 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 234 p.


SATURDAY: EMX65 Free/Timed Practice 07:45; EMX85 Free/Timed Practice 08:20; EMX250 Group 1 Free/Timed Practice 08:55; EMX250 Group 2 Free/Timed Practice 09:30; MX2 Free Practice 10:15; MXGP Free Practice 10:45; EMX300 Free/Timed Practice 11:10; EMX250 Last chance qualifying race 11:55; EMX65 Race 1 13:05; MX2 Time practice 14:00; MXGP Time practice 14:35; EMX300 Race 1 15:20; MX2 Qualifying race 16:10; MXGP Qualifying race 17:00; EMX250 Race 1 17:40.

SUNDAY: EMX65 Warm-up 08:00; EMX85 Warm-up 08:15; EMX300 Warm-up 08:30; EMX250 Warm-up 08:45; EMX65 Race 2 09:10; MX2 Warm-up 09:40; MXGP Warm-up 10:00; EMX85 Race 2 10:30; EMX300 Race 2 11:20; EMX250 Race 2 12:10; MX2 Race 1 13:15; MXGP Race 1 14:15; MX2 Race 2 16:10; MXGP Race 2 17:10.

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