ANTONIO CAIROLI INTERVIEW – RED PLATE AND VICTORY
Red Bull KTM's Tony Cairoli talks to MXLarge after Saint Jean d'Angely.
Antonio Cairoli continues to march towards the magic number of 50 Grand Prix victories, taking win number 46 in France last weekend, but the biggest goal is of course World MX Championship number six.
The 2012 season could become a golden season as the Italian legend moves towards two very important goals. Another four GP wins and he joins Joel Robert as the third highest GP winner in history and of course that extra World title would place him just behind Stefan Everts for World Motocross Championships. Here Tony speaks to Geoff Meyer.
MXlarge: Antonio, you just seemed to know just what to do today. At times it seemed like you could turn up the speed whenever you wanted. Were you riding 100% in France?
Cairoli: I am not taking it easy, but I was looking forward to this Grand Prix, because hard pack like this you need to be 200% focused and I was prepared and to be honest I really liked how the Grand Prix went and I hope we have more like this one.
For this Grand Prix everyone was talking about the French riders, Paulin, Pourcel, Frossard and also Belgian rider Desalle, but you come away with victory. Beating those guys here, how much does that mean to you?
I just controlled the race, I could race and everything was good, it is important for me to take the lead in the championship and I was focused and prepared for this GP. For sure, I managed to win and I am pretty happy here and it’s the home of my main contenders, so it’s nice.
There were so many riders at the front, and all close to each other that has to be really exciting knowing you have an advantage when the action is so intense?
I liked to win here, when you get two good starts and it’s important because on a track like this it’s hard to pass, so I didn’t get any stones in my face and I spent less energy. Yesterday I wasn’t that fast, but we made some changes on the bike and that helped a lot. We changed also the suspension and I felt much better today. I felt great in the race and my condition is good and I can push when it’s time to do it. It is important to finish always on the podium. I never lose the motivation.
It’s great for yourself and KTM after the disappointment of Brazil?
In Brazil I was disappointed to be honest, I wasn’t so happy because I was riding badly, I had made good results in the mud, it was one race and it happened. Hard pack is also not my favorite ground, but now we go to Portugal and it’s a track I really like a lot. Hopefully I will finish on the podium again.
You have 46 GP wins and you have guys like Pourcel and Paulin riding really well. How was it to race with those guys in front of that big French crowd?
It’s nice to get back and win a GP; I have mentioned that I switch GP wins with Christophe like in 2007. The fans were good, there is a lot of passion for Motocross and they can see who can ride and they cheer the French and that is normal. I could hear from the crowd when a French rider was coming close to me. I was happy to see Frossard back racing, but I know he isn’t training a lot and I knew he couldn’t handle it for long.
Christophe seems really motivated again and much more consistent now?
Christophe Pourcel is very good, I knew that and I knew from our previous battles that he is on it and he is a very good rider. But there are many contenders and it’s not just going to be one guy.
Last question, what about the European Football Championship. Will you be watching Italy playing?
I am looking forward to the soccer, but to the previous matches Italy are not so good, I mean my girlfriend is from Holland and Holland is also good, so I have two teams to follow. A lot of good teams, we have to take on Spain and they are the World Cup winners, so we will see what happened with that.