Monday Conversation 2: Antonio Cairoli

With his second MX2 World championship tucked away in his pocket Antonio Cairoli can be a very happy person. He has worked hard this year and given so many people pleasure as they watch the flamboyant Yamaha rider do his thing. In Northern Ireland this weekend it was expected he would race to victory, if not for the GP, at least for the MX2 world title. He added GP win number nine for the season and walked away from Northern Ireland as the man of the moment in World Motocross.
       We sat down with Tony and asked him about his season, his rival and also about the last two MX1 races of the season.  He said he would not race the MX1 class in England and Holland, although he has been put on the MX1 starting list for the Grand Prix of Great Britain next weekend. Here is what he had to say.

MXLarge: Are you surprised how easily you won this championship? You really dominated on so many occasions.
Tony Cairoli: From the time I lost the championship at the end of last year I wanted this championship. I really wanted the number one plate back, and I am not surprised.

Did you expect Christophe to be stronger than he was? Christophe was fast this year, he was good in some races, but my physical condition was much better. I think he also made mistakes, just like I did last year. After I won in 2005 I also made many mistakes.

Was this championship better than your first one?
This one was easier, the first one was tough. I had a lot of pressure in 2005 and this year I have the experience to enjoy it more. It was a lot of fun this year. I had fun riding the bike many times. In the second moto in Ireland I really should not have ridden—the wheel was too badly damaged—but I wanted to win the GP so much. I already had the championship, I could have stopped and not taken any risk, but I liked the track and I wanted the GP win.

Seems like every time you had trouble, like in Namur when you were so far back, but you still gave it 100 percent. Is that something you want to show the people, or you just have that determination?
People know I can ride the bike now, but there is something inside me that makes me want to give it 100 percent all the time and never give up, I think it is important to have that attitude.

When you see the lap times of the Motocross class in America and the Lites class times, they are very similar, do you check that out?
I do see that. I watch the races and I know Villopoto is very fast and I know that Ben has been unbelievable—he made a big step this year. I want to go to the MXON and for sure arrive with 100 percent good condition and fight with these guys and also for myself see how much I can push.

What about Carmichael; can you maybe race with him a little?
I don't know how the track is. If the track makes it possible then I will try my best. If the track is really fast, then I don't know—we are not used to the tracks being really fast. I got two weeks before the race and practice to get on the right time zone and ride some of the faster tracks.

Will you still do the Glen Helen round of the AMA Nationals?
No, I can't now, because after Lierop (the last round of the world championship) I have a no time. The time zone is different and I don't want to rush over there and race and not feel good. If I go there I go there 100 percent ready to race.

What about the MX1 class, would you do MX1 to help Josh (Coppins)?
I don't know, I have not talked to Yamaha about this and for sure when I go to MX1 I want to go and finish on the podium. I don't have any training with the MX1 bike, so I don't think I can race well. Maybe for 10 minutes I am okay, but you use different muscles on the MX1 bike, so I need at least one month training to be prepared to race in that class.

With Stewart seemingly out of the MXoN, and Tim Ferry coming in, do you think maybe now Italy will have a good chance?
For sure, now with that happening and also with Christophe out for France, we have a better chance. With France and USA they have two top riders out and that means that maybe Italy can win. David (Philippaerts) is very fast at the moment and also Davide (Guaneri) is good now, plus I am in a good condition.