Hi Friends – Here is my latest update, from the past two GP’s – Portugal and Spain.
In Portugal, we raced at Agueda. For Saturday’s Qualification, it started raining very heavy before our heat. I had a top three start, and then I was in second position behind David Philippaerts.
Because of the rain the track got really risky and there was only one ‘dry’ line. To pass David I would have to take a different line, … so I didn’t want to take any big risks, and finished second, with David winning the qualification heat.
In the first moto on Sunday, it was the first time in my career that we had a ‘false start’ – the gate didn’t function and everybody plowed right into the gate. So they had to prepare the gate again, and 10 minutes later we did our second start for the first moto.
I get closed in, so I had a bad start. I was around 15th position on the first lap. In the first few laps I struggled a bit finding places to pass, … but then I found my rhythm and fought back to sixth position, behind Boog and Philippaerts. I still had two laps to go when I closed that gap, and was right at the back wheels of Boog and Philipaerts. But I didn’t find the possibility to pass and so I finished sixth in the first moto.
For the second moto, I was really focused on my start, and yes – I had holeshot in the second moto! I was riding well and controlled my race, but behind me there where some big fights going on. At the end of the race Desalle made a mistake and there was a moment there I was would be the GP winner. But Desalle fought back and had enough points to win the GP. I won the second moto, and with that sixth I finished second overall, and Max third overall.
The next weekend, we raced in Spain, at the Bellpuig circuit.
In Saturday’s Qualification heat, I grabbed the hole shot. The weather was terrible, it was raining really hard and there was a lot of wind! I was leading the race when a back marker made a mistake in front of me and I couldn’t find a way around him – and crashed. Because my hands where now full of mud, I made a second mistake. My hand slipped of my handlebar and I crashed for a second time. I still finished second in the qualification heat, but it was just by surviving.
For the first moto on Sunday, I didn’t have a really good start. The track was really difficult to pass on, but I found my way around, Bobryshev, Boissiere, and Philippaerts. I found some good lines, one where I was able to jump the step-up and this was the only way I could pass them. Then I was in second position, behind my team made Max Nagl. I was riding some good laps and was closing the gap to the first.
The track developed some big ruts, and I made a big crash! The electric start button was totally turned down, so I lost a lot of time starting my bike again. I had also twisted my front wheel. I finally got going again and was in sixth position. Pourcel passed me, but then he made a big crash right in front of me. I finished sixth in my first moto, but I was pretty disappointed about that, ’cause I didn’t have to make that mistake.
In the second moto, I knew I had to make a good start, ’cause the start was even more important on a track like this. I started top 10. And Max took the hole shot. Nine of us riders were riding in a long train, and I was the last of that train. I felt that I was faster than the guys in front of me, but I couldn’t pass them. It was really frustrating.
After a few laps I finally find my way around Bobryshev. And I was starting to find my rhythm a little bit. I passed Ramon, Desalle and Philippaerts. Then I saw that Max made a mistake, and I could pass him. I would finish that race in third position.
It was a strange weekend – the track was fast, but there were not enough racing lines and possibilities to make the difference with other riders. This was the first weekend of this season that I wasn’t on the podium, But I was still able to take the red plate home as the points leader. It was not a good weekend for me … but in this ‘bad’ weekend I ‘only’ lost two points on my team mate Max. I did everything to make the best of this past weekend!
The next GP will be in the USA. I hope all the flights will be OK, ’cause the last two weekends we’ve had problems flying back to Belgium on Monday. I’m looking forward to the race at Glen Helen, and I’ll get to see my USA team mate Mike Alessi.
Ciao for now!
Tony Cairoli is the defending World MX1 Motocross Champion, racing for KTM …
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