As he approaches his 32nd birthday at the end of this month, Red Bull KTM’s Antonio Cairoli looks to put the finishing touches on a ninth FIM Motocross World Championship at the MXGP of The Netherlands this weekend at the man-made track at Assen, the popular road racing circuit.
After nearly clinching the championship last weekend at the MXGP of USA at WW Motocross Park just outside Jacksonville, Florida, with a second moto victory (a crash ultimately ended his chances of clinching), Cairoli enters the weekend with a 96-point lead over teammate Jeffery Herlings, with only 100 points available with two rounds remaining in the championship. There will only be 50 available after Assen.
“I’m always happy to finish on the podium and in a season like this it is important to be consistent and that's what we have done: one of my best seasons ever,” he said in a statement after the MXGP of USA. “I want to get the title as soon as possible because I have been riding a bit carefully in the last races. I don't want to crash or break something. I did my best to close it today and I made a mistake but this is part of racing and also my condition is dropping a little bit since the beginning of the season whereas as Jeffrey is the opposite way and is in a good place. I am a fighter and always want to fight back. I hope I will make it in the next GP in Assen, which is a track I really like, and hopefully clinch the title in the first moto, and then after that have some good battles. Together with Jeffrey we have showed that we have some good speed lately and we are ‘there’ most of the time.”
A ninth world championship for Cairoli, who has 83 Grand Prix victories already on his resume, would move him to within one of the all-time record of 10 held by Stefan Everts. The championship would mark his first title since 2014 when he won by an incredible 119 points over Jeremy Van Horebeek.
You can watch the MXGP of Netherlands live on MXGP-TV.com this weekend.