Glen Helen GP: Looking Ahead

Cycle News Staff | May 28, 2010


The FIM Motocross World Championship will make a historic return to the USA this weekend when Glen Helen Raceway will host the 2010 USA Grand Prix 11 years after the last 250cc Grand Prix at Budds Creek.MX1 Championship leader Antonio Cairoli heads to America with the goal of winning his third GP of 2010 and showing the potential of his 350cc KTM Stateside. Onboard a 450cc KTM, teammate Max Nagl chases him in second place, while David Philippaerts completes the top three. Top racers from the American series such as Mike Alessi and Ben Townley will also attend the Glen Helen race.In the MX2 class Marvin Musquin has a comfortable lead of 26 points, which he wishes to further extend at Glen Helen, where runner-up Ken Roczen instead will try to make up points on the defending MX2 Champion. Youngster Jeffrey Herlings completes the top three as home rider Zach Osborne hopes to clinch the first podium of 2010 in front of his home fans.In the Veterans’ series current leader Mats Nilsson will find tough opposition in America, as last year’s World Cup winner is due to face strong rivals such as Jeff Matiasevich, Kurt Nicoll, Darryll King, Doug Dubach and Chuck Sun, adding extra drama to this first overseas round of the Cup.The last Motocross Grand Prix hosted by Glen Helen Raceway was the 500cc FIM World Championship opener in 1992. In that occasion Jean-Michel Bayle took the overall win from Matiasevich and Liles.MX1Leading the MX1 World Championship series into America for the first time after an 11 year absence, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Cairoli wants to make history again. After taking the first win of a 350cc machine in the MX1 class at Mantova this year, the three-time World Champion from Italy seeks victory in this historic comeback to America. Having missed the podium in Bellpuig in the previous round for the first time in 2010, Cairoli is now ready to make up.Teammate Nagl is currently second in the Championship with a gap of 16 points from Cairoli. Nagl took a podium in Bellpuig and will try to exploit the horsepower of his 450cc machine to climb back up to the top of the podium in Glen Helen.Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross’ Philippaerts narrowly missed out on winning the Catalan GP and is now even more motivated to make it to victory despite a hand injury from Portugal still troubles him. The 2008 MX1 World Champion is currently third in the points standings.Team Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1 leaves its mark in the top six with Clement Desalle in fourth and Steve Ramon in sixth, sandwiching Ken DeDycker, who is now fifth in this hard fought MX1 class.Xavier Boog is seventh ahead of Catalan GP winner Tanel Leok.Stars of the USA National series such as Townley – MX2 World Champion in 2004 – Alessi, Ryan Sipes, Ryan Hughes, are also attending the Grand Prix of the United States at Glen Helen Raceway. Together with Cairoli and Rui Gonçalves, Alessi will be the third man on the field with a 350cc KTM.Regular GP rider Jimmy Albertson injured himself at the Catalan Grand Prix but will try his best to be fit enough for his home GP.MX2Courtesy of his Catalan Grand Prix victory, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Marvin Musquin has now an even bigger lead in the MX2 series. The Frenchman, who won last year’s Championship, is 26 points ahead of runner-up Roczen, pulling out of heat two in Bellpuig due to technical issues. With four GP wins in five rounds, Musquin enters Glen Helen as the absolute dominator of the start of this 2010 series.Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2’s Roczen instead has to make up for missing the points in moto two in Bellpuig. After winning his first moto of the season, the 16-year-old German’s bike stopped in moto two.Other sensational teenager Jeffrey Herlings of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team is third in the Championship despite a DNF in Bellpuig. The-15-year-old is just eight points behind Roczen and is pumped about the fact this comeback to the USA of the FIM Motocross World Championship is happening already at his maiden year in the series.Fourth-placed in the Championship, Steven Frossard and his Kawasaki CLS teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek (seventh) are also looking forward to America, where their squad’s partner Pro Circuit is based. The duo is expected to perform strong in what looks like the second home Grand Prix of this France-based team.Courtesy of his first season’s podium in Catalunya, Shaun Simpson is fifth in the series, while home rider Zach Osborne – another one pulling out of Bellpuig’s moto two due to a technical issue – is eighth and chases a home podium this weekend. The American has also a GP win to his credit, courtesy of his Turkish GP success last year.Having made his comeback to the GP series in Catalunya, Gautier Paulin hopes for a podium finish this weekend and shares this goal with Belgian Joel Roelants, appearing on the podium in Bellpuig for the first time in 2010.Making a special appearance at Glen Helen will be British rider Tommy Searle – former runner-up in the World MX2 series – and Max Anstie, with the latter being joined by teammates Broc Tickle and Martin Davalos.Racing his first GP in Bellpuig, American Michael Leib will try his best this weekend despite being still affected by a wrist injury.VETERANS The third round of the FIM Veterans’ World Cup will mark this series’ maiden appearance overseas, as the event will welcome the participation of many outstanding talents of the past to chase series leader Mats Nilsson for the overall win.The Swede has now won all four motos of round one and two but this weekend he will have to fight former GP winners in the likes of British Kurt Nicoll and New Zealander Darryll King. Home hero Chuck Sun will also be in for victory. Jeff Matiasevich will also seek victory this weekend after he took second overall – between winner Jean-Michel Bayle and Billy Liles – at the USA Grand Prix at Glen Helen in 1992.SCHEDULESaturday: Veterans Free Practice 9:25 a.m.; MX2 Free Practice 10:00 a.m.; MX1 Free Practice 10:45 a.m.; Veterans Time Practice 1:00 p.m.; MX2 Pre Qualifying Practice 1:35 p.m.; MX1 Pre Qualifying Practice 2:20 p.m.; Veterans Race 1 3:15 p.m.; MX2 Qualifying Race 4:05 p.m.; MX1 Qualifying Race 4:55 p.m..Sunday: Veterans Warm up 8:30 a.m.; MX2 Warm up 9:00 a.m.; MX1 Warm up 9:30 a.m.; Veterans Race 2 11:15 a.m.; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10 p.m.; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 1:10 p.m.; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 3:03 p.m.; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 4:03 p.m.