Red Bull Teka KTM factory riders Tony Cairoli and Max Nagl rode two masterly motos on the deep and tricky sands of Valkenswaard in the Netherlands on Easter Monday to deliver two consecutive moto victories and finish the day 1-2 on the GP podium.
Tony Cairoli overcomes knee injury for a great GP win. Photo by R. Archer
The result, following on from a 1-2 in the MX2 class GP was proof of the depth of talent in the Orange factory team and underlined the qualities of the KTM 350 SX-F machine, ridden this year by both Cairoli and Nagl.
The performance was even more spectacular for Cairoli who was riding injured after hurting his knee in the first GP at Sevlievo, Bulgaria, and while he was clearly in pain and discomfort as he climbed onto the highest step of the GP podium, he never let it deter him from another triumphant ride.
The two riders split the results of the day’s ride – Tony won the first moto and Max took second place. Then Nagl of Germany, also buoyed by the support of his new Belgian based fan club, whose members flocked over the border to support him, put in a great ride to take the second moto with his Italian team colleague finishing second.Ã‚Â While Cairoli won the MX1 title in 2010 on the newly released 350 SX-F machine, this is Nagl’s first year on the new bike. In 2010 he rode the KTM 450 SX-F. The result moves Nagl up to second place in the championship standings, just five points behind the leader Steven Frossard with Cairoli in overall fourth with a 13-point gap to the leader.
It was the fifth time that Tony had won at Valkenswaard and the third in a row in MX1. He paid tribute to the enthusiasm of the Dutch fans and the way they support him. “I am happy that this is the third time I have won in mX1 here but I did struggle a bit today. Normally this track is a lot of fun to ride but today I tried to be more careful with my injured knee and I tried not to put it on the ground so much. Today we could also close the gap in the championship points and I hope it’s not too long before we get the red plate back again,” Cairoli said.
Max Nagl said it had been a good weekend for him, including a great qualifying when he took the pole position but he had not been so confident in the first moto. “Then in the second heat I changed my strategy. I was leading after about 15 minutes so I was able to find my rhythm and find some nice lines on the track. That makes it easier,” he said.
A fast and confident Max Nagl in the sands of Valkenswaard. Photo by R. Archer
Team boss Stefan Everts expressed satisfaction with the performance of the two MX1 riders saying it had been a tough and physically hard GP. “I was mostly impressed with the comeback of Antonio. We knew he had a knee injury but he did better than we expected. He came back to win in the first moto after not having a very good start. Also in the first Moto Max was third and showing a good speed. Then it was the opposite in the second race when Max put in a nice performance and fought really hard to be in front,” he said.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
In other related news, it was also announced at Valkenswaard that Cairoli has signed to stay with the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing Team for another two years.
The MXGP at Valkenswaard attracted a huge crowd of followers on the Easter holiday weekend and the KTM riders clearly enjoyed chalking up yet another Orange victory on the traditional sandy track.
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer on hand in Valkenswaard to celebrate with MX1 team. Photo by R. Archer