The Italian Motocross Championship now acts as the start of the European season, hence why a majority of factory stars choose to take advantage of the fixture and shake off some cobwebs. It is also a brilliant opportunity to acquire some momentum, which is exactly what Antonio Cairoli did at round one yesterday.
Cairoli was dominant in the first MX1 moto, as he took the early lead and then stretched out an advantage immediately. Tim Gajser, who started from pole position, started second, but couldn’t respond to the impressive times that Cairoli was recording. Cairoli eventually took the moto win by eighteen seconds over Jeremy Van Horebeek, who took control of the runner-up spot after Gajser crashed. Romain Febvre and Evgeny Bobryshev completed the top five.
The MX1 riders lined up alongside the MX2 guys in the final moto of the day, but that did not change things too much. Cairoli again took the holeshot and was unchallenged at the head of the field, as Gajser struggled to match the pace of his foe after disposing of Van Horebeek. Gajser eventually crashed, which allowed Jeremy Van Horebeek to slide into second yet again, but regrouped to stand on the lowest step of the podium. Where was Romain Febvre? The former MXGP champion reportedly had a violent crash.
Which 250F rider finished the highest in that mixed race? Pauls Jonass crossed the line in sixth, but he did not fare as well in the MX2 moto that started proceedings. His teammate, Jorge Prado, took the holeshot in that and then rode to an unchallenged victory. Jonass started right there with Prado, but was eventually passed by Benoit Paturel and Alvin Ostlund.
We’ll have more Riola Sardo soon.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM/Stefano Taglioni