With all the action and drama that occurred at the Nations over the weekend, Antonio Cairoli’s 1-1 domination almost went unnoticed.
With Tomac’s crash, his duel with Roczen as well as Desalle’s injury, Dungey’s poor performance and De Dycker’s heroic ride, it all seemed to overshadow the fact that the world champ put on a clinic yet again for the rest of the world. Even Justin Barcia admitted trying to copy Cairoli’s style by race three!
Cairoli came from two poor starts to take the lead and control each race without pushing beyond his limits. He even admitted watching the race behind him in the final moto to see if Belgium or USA would win! But more importantly to Cairoli, his two race wins helped Italy to their first podium in ten years and the delight on all the riders faces showed just how much it meant to them.
Cairoli is simply a class act and even USA manager Roger DeCoster commented that Tony was, “A real world champion and he showed it here”. MX Vice took the opportunity to have a quick chat with the legendary Italian to get his take on his performance.
Two great rides again, that is two Des Nations in a row that you have had no bad luck and won all four motos – it must feel great?
Yeah it feels great but to be on the podium with Italy – I have never been happier than this. With the team that we have, Philippaerts was injured a lot in the last two years and he has come back for this race, our goal was to finish on the podium.
You didn’t get two holeshots today, you had to work through the pack so do that make the win that more gratifying?
Yeah sure, but when you start in front it is always better because you don’t get roost and stuff! I had an ok start I was 12th in the first moto and eleventh in the second one so that is acceptable.
You are a seven time world champion and you have beaten a lot of great competition – how do you do it?
It is always difficult to win the championship every year and find the motivation can be a problem but I have always found the motivation and I hope I can keep it.
You are three titles away from equalling Stefan Everts’ record – is that a goal for you or are you just enjoying each title?
I don’t know I just enjoy every year. I don’t really watch the numbers.
You always get questioned about going to America, but you are the World champion so surely it should be the Americans getting questioned about coming to race you in the World championship?
Yeah it is a big question but they race supercross there and it is really important for them and I never had the possibility to practice on supercross tracks. It is too late for me to move there and practice supercross. To go there and only ride nationals is not worth it. My main goal is to ride the world championship and I hope someday that they will also understand it is a big series and they also come here.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer