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Top European Riders to Challenge America's Best at This Weekend'S Chevy Trucks Motocross Event in Southwick PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Several stars from the FIM Motocross World Championship circuit are heading to Southwick, Mass., this Sunday, June...

Top European Riders to Challenge America's Best at This Weekend'S Chevy Trucks Motocross Event in Southwick

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Several stars from the FIM Motocross World Championship circuit are heading to Southwick, Mass., this Sunday, June 10, to challenge the riders of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championships. With a month-long break in the world championships, several top riders from that series, most notably World champs Joel Smets, Frederic Bolley will race in the 250 class and Alessio Chiodi will compete on a 125 at Southwick. Smets and Bolley will race in the 250 class, while Chiodi will compete on a 125.

Smets, 32, of Belgium, will ride a factory KTM and will sport No. 118. Smets is a four-time 500cc Motocross World Champion and two-time member of the winning Belgium Motocross des Nations team. He recently broke a long-standing mark held by Roger DeCoster and now holds the record for the most 500cc World Championship Motocross Grand Prix wins. Smets could be testing the waters for a possible move to the U.S. next season. He has stated in several interviews that he would like to race in America.

Bolley, 27, of France, is a two-time 250 Motocross Grand Prix World Champion. He will be riding the No. 901 Honda at Southwick. Chiodi, is a 28-year-old three-time 125 World Motocross Champion from Italy. He was a member of Italy's 1999 Motocross des Nations team. Chiodi will be racing the No. 971 Kawasaki under the MotoworldRacing.com banner and will be facing Grant Langston, who took the 125 World Championship from Chiodi in 2000. Chiodi missed most of the 2000 championship season due to injury and is currently fouth in the 125 World Championships.

With a quarter of the 12-race AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship complete, the big surprise is that defending 250 champ Ricky Carmichael has yet to win an overall this season and is ranked fourth coming into Southwick. The defending champ is a three-time winner at Southwick, once in the 250 class and twice in the 125 class. Leading the way in the 250 championships coming into Southwick is Frenchman, Sebastian Tortelli, on a factory Honda.

Suzuki's Kevin Windham is a close second in the series, just six points behind Tortelli. Third is Yamaha's Tim Ferry, the surprise winner of the series opener in San Bernardino, Calif., last month. Joining Carmichael at Southwick are many former 250 winners such as John Dowd, Mike LaRocco, Ezra Lusk and Doug Henry.

New England natives Dowd and Henry are local favorites at Southwick. Dowd has won both the 250 and 125 classes and has won regional races at the track this year. Henry, a three-time AMA national champion, is coming out of semi-retirement to race on one of the circuits close to his home in Connecticut. The 125 class should be just as wide open.

Defending Southwick winner Travis Pastrana bounced back with a victory at Mt. Morris, Pa., two weeks ago on his factory Suzuki and has drawn within nine points of KTM's Grant Langston, who won the first two 125 rounds of the season. Steve Lamson is a former two-time 125 winner at Southwick.

With tight championship battles in both national classes and the addition of the world champion riders, this Sunday's Southwick Motocross National is one of the most anticipated races of the season. For immediate post-race results, rider information, AMA Pro Racing notes and news, log on to www.amaproracing.com.

-AMA-

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Series AMA , FIM
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Travis Pastrana , Kevin Windham , Mike LaRocco , Doug Henry , Joel Smets