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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

MX-GP: Pocock and Leib to fill-in at Bulgarian and Italian Grands Prix

British Championship leader Mel Pocock is set to steer a factory YZ250F once more in Monster Energy colours at Sevlievo and then Fermo in the next two weeks for the Grands Prix of Bulgaria and Italy and the second and third rounds of sixteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship. The twenty year old will again fill GP responsibilities for the Monster Energy Yamaha crew in the wake of his excellent outing two weeks ago in Holland from which he recorded a best-ever overall finish of 10th. The Briton will be joined this week and the next by American Michael Leib who has been drafted back into the FIM MX World Championship and will also be part of the Steve Dixon-led team for the Bulgarian and Italian rounds (the latter occurring on April 29th).

Pocock’s call-up has come at a time when Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus are still in the midst of their recoveries from injuries and Christophe Charlier (member of the Rinaldi-led division of the team) will miss the Bulgarian trip as his broken foot needs more rest before the Frenchman can think about climbing aboard the works YZ250FM.

Charlier was hopeful of being able to ride his race bike this week but after consultation with his medical team the bones in his foot require more time before the limb could be ready for the demands and stresses of the fast and jumpy Sevlievo circuit. Charlier is continuing his programme through use of an exercise bicycle and his return to training on the track is expected next week.

Elsewhere Zach Osborne has had staples removed after the operation needed on his broken collarbone and from a procedure required to correct damage to shoulder ligaments. The American is at home convalescing and – like Charlier – trying to maintain a base level of fitness so that he can swiftly ride and race once given the all-clear. A period of two months is expected and a more detailed schedule will be permissible as Osborne progresses with his rehab. Countryman Michael Leib (pictured) will bring two years of grand prix experience to the Monster Energy Yamaha camp. The 20 year old had returned home for the 2012 season but now has a chance to demonstrate again the pace that was quick and lively enough to reach the upper echelons of the MX2-GP leaderboard. A best finish of 7th was recorded at the 2010 Italian Grand Prix and he recently posted a decent 6th place at the Anaheim 2 AMA West Supercross Lites meeting. “I am pumped to have this opportunity to come back to Europe with the Monster Energy Yamaha squad,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to ride outdoors again. The team have had great results so far and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

Arnaud Tonus will have the stiches withdrawn from surgery on his left wrist today (Thursday) and will start to use a lighter cast to protect the joint. The Swiss will then start physiotherapy on the arm to compliment the treatment he is already undergoing on his right shoulder. “It has been a frustrating and hard couple of weeks,” he said. “I’ve really needed the support of my family and my girlfriend just to get around and do things. The shoulder feels better and stronger every day. I can move it and will start doing exercises. Hopefully I can start physio on the wrist very soon.”

“I’m looking firmly ahead now and hopefully in three weeks I will have a much better idea of what I can do,” he continued. “I am already doing some cycling each day. My goal is to come back 100% ready to go. Everybody else will already be race-fit so I will already be playing ‘catch-up’ and I don’t want to be doing that if I’m only 75%. I think the French GP [June 3rd] is something I can work towards.”

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