The FIM Motocross World Championship travels from France to Portugal to celebrate the seventh Grand Prix of the season without any break in between. Besides, Agueda will not only host the MX1 and MX2 classes, but also the third round of the UEM EMX125 series.
Both MX1 and MX2 championships have clear dominants, but the difference they have with the runner-ups is just the one of a bit more of a heat. Whereas Antonio Cairoli is 39 points ahead Christophe Pourcel, Jeffrey Herlings has 22 points advantage over Tommy Searle, so no mistakes are allowed for the Red Bull KTM Factory riders to keep the red plate until the end of the season.
Steven Frossard will miss the Portuguese Grand Prix and probably the rest of the season because he needs a second operation on his right knee to replace the ACL ligament and fix a troublesome meniscus. His MX2 teammate Christophe Charlier dislocated his shoulder in Saint Jean d’Angely, but everybody hopes to see him on the Monster Energy Yamaha machine to dispute the seventh Grand Prix of the season.
In the UEM EMX125 class there is also a clear favourite among all the young talents; Tim Gajser has won all the heats of the two rounds celebrated so far in Bulgaria and Italy and he is leading the championship with 25 points advantage over Davide Bonini.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli arrives in Agueda, Portugal, after having achieved his third Grand Prix victory of the season in Saint Jean d’Angely, which was at the same time his 46 overall GP win of his career. The Italian rider is just four victories away from the Belgian legend Joël Robert, and having in mind that last year Cairoli was second in the Portuguese Grand Prix makes everybody think that he can add one more victory to his records this weekend.
CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel is now second in the MX1 point standings thanks to his second position at his home Grand Prix. Pourcel missed the overall victory in Saint Jean d’Angely last weekend, but he was very satisfied with his performance as he succeeded in being on the podium. His goal now is winning the Portuguese Grand Prix and cut the difference with Cairoli.
The third position of the MX1 championship is now for Belgian rider Clement Desalle, but he is just one point behind Pourcel. After suffering a family bereavement on the eve of his travel to the French GP last weekend, the Rockstar Energy Suzuki World rider is feeling much better now and is fully focus to repeat his last year’s victory in Agueda.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin is fourth in the MX1 classification, but he is only one point behind Desalle and two behind Pourcel, so a double victory in Agueda would make him climb up until the second place in the standings. In 2011 Paulin was second overall in the Portuguese track, so he is confident that he can do well this weekend.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker is completing the top five of the MX1 point standings. The Belgian rider had a difficult weekend in Saint Jean d’Angely but he is fully determined to be back fighting for the top three positions.
David Philippaerts, who is obtaining really solid results since the MXGP of Mexico, is now sixth in the point standings, ten points behind De Dycker. Xavier Boog and Kevin Strijbos are seventh and eighth respectively.
Home rider Rui Gonçalves is very excited to be back racing in Agueda this weekend. The Honda World Motocross rider missed the podium last year for just two points, after finishing seventh and second in the races, so he will be fully focus this weekend to hand his home crowd and his team the first podium finish of the season. His teammate Evgeny Bobryshev was third overall in Portugal last year and in Saint Jean d’Angely the Russian proved that he is back to fight for the top positions. Consequently, the Portuguese Grand Prix can be a successful weekend for the Honda World Motocross squad.
2011 MX1 Podium
1. Clement Desalle
2. Antonio Cairoli
3. Evgeny Bobryshev
2011 MX1 POLEMAN: Clement Desalle
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings has been able to keep the red plate on his bike since the first round of the series and the Dutch rider faces the seventh Grand Prix of the season having very good memories of the MXGP Portugal. Last year, although he did not win any of the heats, Herlings was not only able to take the overall victory in Agueda, but also his maiden red plate in the MX2 class.
The second position of the MX2 championship is still for Tommy Searle, who missed the overall victory last weekend in Saint Jean d’Angely, but he obtained very valuable points for the Championship chase. The Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider won the second heat last year in Agueda, but he got a DNF in the first moto after getting the green fence stuck in his back wheel while fighting for the third position.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek is still third in the point standings, 17 points behind Searle. The Belgian rider was able to be back on the podium last weekend in Saint Jean d’Angely even racing with an injured left ankle due to an incident he suffered during the warm up.
The fourth position of the MX2 point standings is for Joel Roelants, who has been able to obtain consistent results during the last three weekends, but he is still missing something to be back again on the podium. Last year Roelants was ninth overall in Agueda, so he is convinced that he is able to obtain a better result this year on his Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit machine.
The Honda Gariboldi ESTA’s Max Anstie is completing the top five of the championship, but Jordi Tixier is just one point behind the British rider. Both of them are racing really good, so their performance this weekend will decide the fifth position of the MX2 championship.
Jake Nicholls is seventh in the championship, Alessandro Lupino and Jose Butrón are eighth and ninth respectively and Dylan Ferrandis is completing the top then of the MX2 class.
Arnaud Tonus made his comeback in the championship last weekend in Saint Jean d’Angely after his shoulder injury and he was already able to fight for the top five positions. In the end he was eleventh overall, but this weekend he will be for sure fighting again for a top five or even top three result.
2011 MX2 Podium
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Gautier Paulin
3. Zach Osborn
2011 MX2 POLEMAN: Ken Roczen