Interview: World Motocross Champion Tony Cairoli speaks
Tony Cairoli is the 2010 World Champion of Motocross in the premiere MX1 class. 2010 was his first season racing for KTM. Tony has won three other world motocross titles as well, 2009 in MX1, and two championships before in the MX2 class.
Tony Cairoli – Champion du Monde de Motocross MX1
Tony is from Italy, and is getting ready to race for Team Italy in the upcoming Motocross of Nations, to be held this coming weekend, in Lakewood, Colorado, near Denver. I just got off the phone with Tony, and here’s what he has to say about a variety of topics.
Amanda: Tony, it has been a long season. Can you in words really tell a fan what it’s like to go thru so much in just one season?
Tony: First of all, I started the season with a totally NEW 350 KTM bike, a bike that nobody had ever ridden in the GPs before.
But the first time I rode my 350 bike, it felt like my old 250 MX2 bike. I think everybody knows how much I liked to ride the MX2 250 class. I think it fits with my riding style better. I’ve never needed to have too much power – I like a bike that fits with my movement and riding style. KTM gave me that this year!
So, I went from Yamaha to KTM, even after winning the MX1 title for the first time, but I’m sure I made a good decision to take my “old team” with me – team manager Claudio de Carli, and mechanics Nazzareno and Lino, the team truck, … everything!
We all switched brands, and in so we really did become one big KTM family, together with Pit Beirer and Stefan Everts.
My season went great and I took the “red plate” (designating series points leader) from the second GP in Mantova, and I could take my second MX1 World Title in Brasil, with two GPs before the end of the season.
OK, I’m just going to say a word or phrase, and please comment on whatever comes to your mind. Are you ready?
Sure, go for it!
The new 350 KTM bike: I think that is the future, a great bike, perfect for me!
Totally new for me this season, I had great years with Yamaha … but made a new start with KTM. It’s one big happy family, and my team and I are part of that.
The race of the year, the one you can’t miss!
I had to “fight” hard to be able to ride MXdN this year! I always tell people, and try to show how important this race is for me. And until just a few days ago, it looked like I would not be able to ride! :O I’m very happy my team made a compromise with the Italian Federation, and I’m selected for the Italian team. I’m looking forward to being a guest in the USA next week in Lakewood, Colorado.
And of course I will try my best on the bike for the team and the fans.
A great rider and one of the fastest riders on the planet!
I know people like to compare me with Ryan – we are both champions. I have seen things on the Internet that I have supposedly said about him. I would like to say that much of what has been written is not accurate and I did not say.
For example, there was a written interview recently that had me quoted as saying “MX2 guys are faster than Ryan”. Not true. I never said anything like that.
People continually ask me who is faster. But I think you can’t compare two different racers if they are not riding against each other, or in the same conditions.
Can you compare MotoGP to Formula 1? No. You can’t make the comparison. Both have champions. Both have talented athletes. But you can’t compare them. They are different worlds.
I don’t know Ryan that well as a person, but we all know he is fast on his bike. And I think he’s a nice person, with a good head, and both of his feet on the ground. I like that!
My team mate, good friend and the MX2 World Champ of 2010!
Marvin is a great rider and I see myself in him a lot. He loves to be on the bike every single day, and he likes to have his group of people around him,and he is very strong in the mind. He rides to win and just like me (here is the big secret race fans!) he loves to eat NUTELLA!
He’s gonna’ have a big career in USA ahead of him, and we are gonna’ miss him on our Europe team!
My friend, up coming team mate and the future in motocross!
Kenny is a young rider, but already a big champ. A nice and happy personality in the paddock, and I’m looking forward to being on the same team with him next year, ’cause I’m sure the little guy can teach me something! ; )
Pit is the person who believed in me, and made my team and me part of KTM!
After the news that Yamaha couldn’t continue with me for the 2010 season, it was Pit who contacted us with the idea of making this big KTM team. And it’s him together with Claudio who made this 2010 project work out in the best way. Pit is a great and important person in the KTM Europe team!
Stefan s a big Champ who gave me some great advice this season!
It’s the first year I have worked together with Stefan, and working with him didn’t mean I changed what i was doing the years before. The most important person for me stayed – Claudio, and I just keep on working with him like the years before.
Only now, Stefan could give me some extra advice, and he is 10 times World Champion, and I have a lot of respect for him, so his advice is always more than welcome.
Roger is a great Champion and a big name in motocross!
I was happily surprised with the news that Roger is joining the KTM USA team!
I’m still talking with our team here in Europe, but I would like to ride a few American supercross events and, a few AMA outdoors next season. We have to see how the combination of schedules works out.
With Roger being part of KTM, that means I’m able to work with the man who helped make Ryan and Ricky and lot’s of other riders big, and I’m looking forward to that!
The biggest Supercross race in Europe!
I have always liked to ride supercross, and I did a few European Supercross seasons the last few years. I’m happy to ride in Bercy this year! If the plans are to go ride supercross in USA, then this is going be a nice supercross experience close to home!
Supercross in USA…
The best Supercross in the world!
As I said before, I’m talking with my team and KTM to come to USA and ride the first two supercross races. I see it as a nice new experience.
2011, 2012 plans…
For 2011 I have a contract with KTM to ride the MX GP’s in Europe, and maybe I’m able to finally come over for an outdoor motocross in the USA. The plans for 2012 …. we will see! : )
OK Tony, I’m all out of questions, and I’m sure my phone bill is going to be very big. But, one more question – what do you want the fans of supercross and motocross in America, and worldwide, to know about you?
About me? : O
I love my sport and I’m so passionate about it.
I came from a poor family that could give me the things needed most – lot’s of love! But nothing really more in regards to sport and motocross. I’m from Sicily (a island in the south of Italy) and I didn’t have it to easy when I was young.
But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and my past helps make me the person I am today.
I live for my sport, and I also try to leave things for my sport, so maybe others can benefit. In the end it pays off and it’s worth every second! So believe in things, and make it happen!