This week, my column has been ‘hijacked’ by World Motocross Champion of MX 1 – Tony Cairoli
It’s been a while since I’ve written you. And that’s because all of us that follow the World Motocross Championships have been on quite a road trip!
I’ll share with you some of my adventures of the last three GPs – USA, Brasil, and France.
We had our last race in Europe in the Netherlands back in April. Then, we traveled to another continent – North America for the US Grand Prix. Next, we went to another continent – South America, for the MX Grand Prix of Brasil. And now this past week we race our third GP in a row on a different continent – back in Europe for the Grand Prix of France!
I’ll start here with the Grand Prix of the USA … (results here)
I had a good first heat in Glen Helen, and finished second behind Clement Desalle. I made a mistake on the last lap when I tried to pass Desalle for the lead, but was still able to finish in that second position.
In the second heat I had a big crash with Steven Frossard! I couldn’t jump on a big uphill because of two slower riders in front of me. Steven was close by and did jump. And he jumped right on me! We both crashed big time! My bike was pretty destroyed, but I managed to get started again and get as many points as possible. I was able to work my up to 11th position in that second heat.
Luckily in that second heat, and with that big crash, I didn’t seriously hurt myself or my knee again. But it certainly was a bummer that I lost a lot of points in the championship chase! I left Glen Helen 24 points behind leader Clement Desalle, and fourth in the MX1 Championship.
Off the next week to race in Brasil! (results here)
In Brasil I had a great first heat and won. That was a nice feeling. In the second heat I finished second. Two laps before the end on that second heat I closed the gap on leader David Philippaerts, and I tried to pass him … but again my charge came just a little bit too late! So I finished second in that heat.
As a racer and competitor, you don’t like to finish second overall tied with same points, as the winner, … but I was happy I could make up some points in the championship!
I left Brasil in third position in the championship – two points behind my teammate Max Nagl, and 13 behind Desalle
And now this past weekend we raced at St. Jean d’Angely in France … (results here)
The first heat – I had the holeshot, but Frossard passed me on the first lap and I couldn’t close the small gap to him until two laps before the end again! I did everything to pass him for the lead, but made a small mistake and slid away in a left hand corner at the bottom of a hill on the last lap, and finished second behind Steven.
In heat two I had a bad start, and on that track it was not easy to pass, but I managed to came all the way up to third! But Frossard was too fast and hÃ¨ won the overall GP!
Once again, I finished second on the podium, second overall. But I managed to move up to second in the point standings, and closed the points gap on leader Desalle to a smaller margin – we are only six point apart now, as we all get ready to race this coming weekend in Portugal.
As far as my injuries from earlier in the season, I know that I’m not back yet at my normal level. But I’m also realistic enough to be thankful and happy to be on the level where I am now!
After the knee injury at the first GP in Bulgaria, I wasn’t even sure if I could start the second GP in Netherlands! I can say – the knee is getting better and better! And now I can do my normal bike training during the week. I just can’t do other forms of training such as bicycle or running yet. I feel like I’m known for my good conditioning, fast lap times, especially at the last part of a race. That is one of my best strengths.
With these last few races, I have not been able to really charge hard at the end like I normally can do. I make a good effort the last two laps, but I’m just a little late!
As I said, I’m getting better, and I’m realistic enough to be thankful and happy to be on the level where I am now!
So, I can’t wait until my knee feels good enough to start with my bicycle and running training!!!
Look forward to seeing you all at the races …