In this episode, Tony talks about winning his third World Motocross title, and first in MX1, in Holland last Sunday!
The MX1 Grand Prix of Lierop, Netherlands
Hey everybody … wow! What a weekend it was!!
I didn’t start this weekend with 100% confidence. That’s because I found out earlier this week that I broke a little piece of the meniscus in my left knee. It’s the same one I had a surgery on last year. The little piece was still in my knee and gives me a lot of pain. So the week before this race in Lierop the doctor told me that it was better to rest, so I didn’t train the whole week. I didn’t take any medication or painkillers on Saturday, and my riding didn’t go that well on Saturday.
I have never seen the track of Lierop so heavy as it was this year, … the sand was thick and difficult. And on Saturday I could find my rhythm in the qualification heat, so I could only finish 12th. So, after Saturday, it didn’t give me more confidence for Sunday … but I knew everything was still possible for the championship, ’cause Saturday is still only qualification.
After the warm-up on Sunday, I waited for my doctor, Doctor Toon Cleas, who also did my knee surgery last year. He was coming straight from his holiday to see my knee condition before the first heat. We decided that it would be a good idea to ride the heats with an injection.
The first heat on Sunday I started around 15th position, I was a bit lucky that Max didn’t take the hole-shot like usual, and he was just a few places in front of me. After about 15 minutes he made a mistake, and I was able pass him. I rode all the way up to third position and was feeling good. I had constant pressure from my team mate Tanel, and Josh on my back as well, all three of us fighting for that third position.
Then a few laps before the end I made a small mistake, and fell back to the 5th position. Max was able to fight back to eighth place, so I was able to gain three points on him after the first heat. Now, in the second heat, if I could take five more points than Max, I would be able to take my world title here in Lierop. So I did feel a little pressure cause so many fans from Italy and Sicily come over to this GP, and they would love to see me take the World Motocross Championship title this weekend!
But, after the first heat, I had SO much pain in my injured knee, …. so just before the start of the second heat I got my second injection. The second heat Max did take the hole-shot, and I started again from out of the middle of the pack.
I knew it was going to be hard to take the points I needed on Max to clinch the championship. I was able to get the information I needed to know from the team members in the pit lane area every lap. I was riding some good lap times and then there was the moment I saw Max in front of me. I knew I didn’t need to make any mistakes now, … and I ended up passing Max, and I was even getting closer to Desalle. There was just a moment I was thinking that I had to pass Clement to win my title, …. even my team wasn’t sure what the finishing positions and points should be. But, two laps before the end they gave me the information that my current position was enough to win my world title, so I decided to not take risks and stay in my 4th position.
When I arrived at the finish, I was so happy!!! Everybody was here this weekend, my family, all my friends from Sicily, sponsors, and for sure everybody from the team! It is very hard to even describe it all in words how I felt. It was so nice ….
We had a big party after I arrived with the team, but also that night we had a big celebration party in Lommel until the really late hours! 😀
I would like to thank everybody who helped me this season: Yamaha, my team, my family, my friends, my sponsors …. everyone!!
Tony Cairoli 222
P.S. Together with my doctor, we decided to do a little surgery on on my knee Wednesday (today), to take out the little loose piece of my knee. I gonna’ be back for the GP of Brasil and the Motocross of Nations!
Tony Cairoli – 2009 FIM MX1 World Motocross Champion