Reigning MX1 World Champion Tony Cairoli launched his season with flair on Sunday with a clear victory in the opening round of the Italian National Championship in Riola Sardo, Sardinia where the only real competition in the field of top riders came from his Red Bull KTM factory teammate Ken De Dycker.
The strong one-two position of KTM’s two MX1 candidates was an indication that they are both in top form, especially on the sand track at Sardinia, a new venue experience for many of the racers but where the Red Bull KTM team has been training in the off season. It was also confirmation that the new factory bikes, Cairoli’s favorite KTM 350 SX-F and De Dycker’s KTM 450 SX-F are ready to race in 2013
Cairoli was out of the gates fast in both the MX1 race and the Elite category that combined the top riders from MX1 and MX1 and laid the foundation of his race by snatching both holeshots. He had a good fight with De Dycker in the MX1 race but later described Elite class as a ‘lonely race’. He put on a powerful display of riding to cross the line with a substantial winning margin to thrill the large crowd of enthusiastic Italian fans who had come to support him.
“It was a sandy track and that’s quite unusual for Italy but it was very good for my training,” Cairoli said after the race. “I had a great fight with Ken in the first race but he made some small mistakes in the second so it turned out to be a bit of a lonely race for me.” Cairoli said he was looking forward to Round Two in Malagrotta where riders will be back on a hard pack surface on a track that Tony and Ken know well.
The Sardinia race attracted around 10,000 enthusiastic MX fans and was run in near perfect conditions. Early morning rain settled the sand track and the sun came out in the afternoon. It attracted many top level World Championship riders none of whom were able to match the speed and ride of Cairoli and De Dycker. The Red Bull KTM duo now go into the next round with confidence however the weather forecast predicts that it may be very different conditions and could be a difficult race day next week.
Results MX1 Round 1 Italian Championship?
1, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM 120 points?
2, Ken De Dycker, Belgium KTM 100
3, Evgeny Bobrychev, Russia, Honda, 80
4, David Philippaerts, Italy, Honda, 65
5, Joel Roelants, Belgium, Yamaha, 60
6, Steve Frossard, Yamaha 55
7, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM 50