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Antonio Cairoli: 7th Heaven

FIM World MX Champs

maddix park mx


He may have been beaten to the punch by Jeffrey Herlings but Antonio Cairoli has still been at his dominant best in the MX1 class this year. All he needed was 11th place in moto one but he decided to do it in style and win the race anyway, celebrating in the usual KTM fashion. We caught up with him after the press conference for a quick chat about his latest title...

Antonio Cairoli, 7th title. Is this one as good as the first one?

No, the first one is always the best. When you were a kid you always dream to become a world champion and I dreamed this. When you get one it’s amazing. The 7th is also amazing because I never thought I could be so many times world champion. I think this season was one of the best because I didn’t make any mistakes this year. I almost always on the podium. Only two races, two rounds I was out of the podium. I’m really happy about this season. We’ll see what we can improve next season, but we are very happy.

You were really consistent and you built up your lead up early on during the championship, but you didn’t win the last three rounds. Does that still mean you’ve got stuff to improve on and work on and that your rivals are getting better?
I think just my motivation. It’s focusing more on the points than on the GP victory. There is a time in the championship where you need to push for the victory and there’s a time where you need to think that some mistakes or something goes wrong and you can lose everything. I became more experienced and I know when I can push more, or it’s not necessary for the points. Today first moto I was really not scared to win. I was going for it. I was feeling good with the track. When I like the track like today I do my best to win. Sometimes when I don’t feel great with the track I just take points. It’s okay like this. The next round is in the sand, so that’s my goal to win both races, like it was here today. Actually I was feeling great on this track. I was riding not even on my best. On the first race I was controlling a lot and I had a good gap. In the second race, just this problem with the bike that made some difference. I was struggling a lot so I had to give up.
Antonio Cairoli
Obviously Lierop’s in the sand but the Nations is in the hard-pack. Are you going to be training any differently for that race?
I don’t think so. It’s hard-pack for sure but Des Nations is always different tracks. It’s always good prepared and many good lines. It’s not like the GPs sometimes it’s very, very hard and mainly one line. I hope the track will be nice. I will do my best to take home my home races. Let’s see what we can do in Italy because this year we have a good team. We will try to be on the podium.

Are you disappointed that both Villopoto and Jeffrey are injured? Is that frustrating that you don’t get a chance to race against them after all this year?
Jeffrey I think will race. I heard something that he’s okay. I think he will ride Lierop also. For sure, Villopoto for me… America has so many riders that they can choose, so if he decides this because he thinks it’s best for him, so let’s respect that. I’m not focusing on the American riders; I’m focusing on it’s a team race. I’ve never been on the podium with Italy already since I’m riding Nations, so I really want to be on the podium with our team.
Antonio Cairoli
Then the week after this is Red Bull Give Me Five event in Madrid. What’s that about? Anything to report about it?
We are still talking about this race. I don’t really have a lot of [knowledge about it]. I want to really make some holidays because this season was really tough and I was really focusing on my results.

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