Monster Energy Yamaha will head to the Grand Prix of Mexico this weekend with the Rinaldi division of the squad fully fit and ready for the first FIM Motocross World Championship event to hit Guadalajara and the Nico España circuit.
Steven Frossard has felt a major improvement in his right knee since his anterior cruciate ligament surgery and unfortunate attempt to enter the motos at Fermo for the Grand Prix of Italy two weeks ago. The 2011 MX1-GP runner-up has more movement in the joint and has been bicycling and engaging in further exercise to be able to be more competitive on his YZ450FM for both the Mexican and Brazilian successive events in the next fortnight. The Frenchman will be able to line-up with David Philippaerts – who saw a strong fourth position in the first moto of his home meeting at Fermo taken away after being hit by another rider – and attack this South American segment of the FIM calendar.
Philippaerts in particular will have fond memories of the trip to Brazil as twelve months ago the former world champion celebrated his last victory to-date at the Indaiatuba circuit (host of the ’11 incarnation of the Brazilian meet). MX2-GP racer Christophe Charlier will also be in better shape having made his Grand Prix bow on the YZ250FM in Italy (and taking a decent 6th overall) for what was the former European Champion’s first FIM World Championship appearance this year since recovering from a broken foot.
In the Steve Dixon faction of Monster Energy Yamaha Shaun Simpson has travelled to Mexico and the ex-British Champion – who has made a solid and consistent start to the season with three top ten results on the YZ450FM – will share paddock space again with exciting American Michael Leib.
Leib was initially drafted into the squad to replace the injured Zach Osborne for races in Bulgaria and Italy but the twenty year old’s excellent performance and potential in leading the Grand Prix at Fermo and giving the YZ250F its first ’12 GP podium trophy with second place overall has led to an extension of his agreement to be a Yamaha representative. The Californian is expected to suit-up at Guadalajara for the race that will be run in hot temperatures and at an altitude of five thousand metres above sea level and then fly to Brazil and the Beto Carrero facility the following week.
“I’m super-happy to have this shot with such a professional team surrounded by great people,” he enthused. “I’m looking forward to this weekend and the Mexican GP and I’m excited to see what happens next. I had a great time in Bulgaria and Italy and I’m looking forward for more to come. I can’t thank Steve, Yamaha and Monster Energy enough for supporting me and giving me this chance.”
Dixon’s other MX2-GP replacement from recent weeks, Mel Pocock, celebrated victory at Lyng in the third round of the Maxxis British Championship last weekend and continues to front the competitive eight round series. The twenty year old impressed in his three Grand Prix outings and is now expected to be a strong challenger for the European EMX250 crown with the six-meeting calendar getting under way when the MX1 and MX2 paddock arrives back in Europe for the Grand Prix of France at the St Jean D’Angely circuit on June 3rd. At that same meeting Arnaud Tonus is hopeful of throwing his leg over the number ‘7’ YZ250F for the first time at a 2012 GP since surgery on his shoulder and wrist due to a pre-season race crash in March.