Monster Energy Yamaha has grown to encompass six riders in the MX1-GP and MX2-GP categories for 2011. Alongside Philippaerts (starting his fourth year as a works rider) on the fuel injected YZ450FM (second year of development) is Steven Frossard while Anthony Boissiere will be steering the third ‘black and green’ machine in the premier class. Philippaerts has not dropped out of the top four in his three previous championships with Yamaha and famously became Italy’s first MX1-GP champion in ’08.

While Boissiere will enter his second MX1-GP campaign in Bulgaria and has experience of moto victories and podium results in MX2-GP, it is fellow Frenchman Frossard (pictured) who will remember the race as a landmark thanks to this being his first grand prix outing with Yamaha and his debut meeting in MX1-GP. The quiet but intense former MX2-GP winner has had an excellent winter of adaptation to the bigger machine and enjoyed success in France and recently captured the Italian MX1 championship for an emphatic demonstration of his potential on the YZ450FM.

After missing out this time last year due to misfortune with a leg break while training two weeks before the season-launch, Gautier Paulin is itching to get to Sevlievo to begin his second title tilt with the factory YZ250FM. Like his countryman Frossard, Paulin also comes to Bulgaria with an Italian title on his CV; the MX2 crown and having won a round of the French Championship.

Runner-up to Paulin in the Italian series was former European Champion Christophe Charlier who begins his second world championship on the YZ250FM. The 19 year old Corsican, one of the most naturally talented riders on the MX2-GP stage, will again be partnered by Finland’s Harri Kullas; one of the stand-out rookies from 2010 who scored points in 29 motos from 30 and stood-out with victory in the Dutch Championship last month.