Osborne back in the pack as Simpson moves sideways

The Grand Prix of Sweden this weekend sees the FIM Motocross World Championship enter its second phase with the ninth round of sixteen. The race at the Uddevalla circuit will see Monster Energy Yamaha significantly strengthened with the maiden appearance this season of Zach Osborne on the YZ250F in MX2-GP and the return of a stronger Christophe Charlier to action. In a small reshuffle for the six-man factory squad across both principal classes Britain’s Shaun Simpson will move into the Rinaldi awning to steer Steven Frossard’s YZ450FM for the rest of the season.

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The exciting prospect of Osborne making his first Grand Prix outing of 2012 is a boost for the Dixon-led division of Monster Energy Yamaha. The American has been recovering over the past eight weeks from surgery to his collarbone and shoulder following a pre-season injury. The 23 year old made a fantastic impression during the first month of the year with excellent results in the West Coast AMA Lites Supercross category and is hoping some of that speed and confidence will soon return for his European adventure. “I feel good on the bike,” he said. “I feel as if I never stopped riding. I'm sure in a race situation it would be different but I have a good start and am getting better and better. Before my injury I had a lot of momentum. I was fitter and faster than ever before so to get back to that level could take a little time. I just have to do my best to get back to a high level of fitness and competition form.”

“I need to have some podiums and I would love to be on top form for the Grand Prix at Matterley Basin,” he added on his goals for the rest of 2012. “It will be my last British GP for a while and I want to do good. It's local for me and for the team and it would be special to do well there.”

MX2 team-mate Christophe Charlier will be in better shape for Sweden having made the most of the short break in the Grand Prix calendar to continue rehab work on the right shoulder he dislocated four weeks ago in France. However the Frenchman will not line-up alongside Michael Leib at Uddevalla. The American is still recovering from a bout of Epstein-Barr virus and is expected to miss another three events and can tentatively look at a return for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic at the beginning of August.

In the premier class Shaun Simpson will fill the vacancy in the Rinaldi awning to complete the works MX1-GP entry on the YZ450FM. Steven Frossard will not be back on the bike until the winter months after a knee reconstruction so the former British Champion and current Belgian champion will place his ‘24’ plate on the 450cc Monster Energy Yamaha machine inside the Italian set-up for the remainder of the campaign and hope to push into contention for a top ten championship slot for what is an extremely competitive field this year.