Hey Everyone – I just got done racing the first two big pre-season international MX races in Italy & France, and I’d like to give you an update of my 2010 season so far!
First, Mantova, Italy, 6 & 7 February
We left for Mantova a few days early because on Thursday I trained near Mantova together with Mike Alessi. After that training day we arrived at the track in the night, and that was the first time we saw both of our team’s together, linked with the trucks in one big setting, it looked great!
On Friday it rained whole day, so we had time to catch up with all other riders, to chat about our winters and such. On Saturday my feeling on the track, and the feeling with my new 350 bike in Mantova was really good. I could ride some good last lap’s and I was looking forward to my first starts on my new KTM.
In training this winter, I rode both new KTM’s, the 350 and the 450. They are both great bikes, so I’m gonna use the pre-season races to decide which bike I’ll start the GP’s with in April.
Race day in Mantova: My three moto’s went really well on Sunday. I had good start’s and and was able win the first two heats. So that was a great start for my first race this year!
Results for Mantova MX:
1. Cairoli 70 p
2. Ramon 52 p
3. Desalle 51 p
4. Philippaerts 51p
5. De Reuver 48p
It was a busy weekend, and it was nice to see everybody again after the winter. It was also nice to ride for such great fans again!
After the race in Mantova I did go back to Rome, and I trained for two weeks together with Mike. The weather was terrible all over Europe, so it was hard to find a track for training, but near Rome we did have a few good and sunny day’s so we where able to train!
Second, Valence, France, 20 & 21 February
On Friday I flew with Mike, his girlfriend and dad to France for the race. Jill flew to the same airport, cause she was coming from Holland, where she works. So we all meet at the airport in Lion, and with a car full of bags we start off to Valence.
It was my first time riding in Valance, and when I was riding practice on Saturday I didn’t feel confident in my riding at all! The track was pretty dangerous, very difficult, and there where so many stones! Sunday I tried to ride for a good qualification time, ’cause I know that the start would be important! When you can make a good start you are a bit protected from the stone ‘rain’. I made the third best time, so that was great.
When I ride in preseason races I don’t wanna’ take any risks. It is just good training for myself, and we can test more things with the new bikes. I wanted to find out how I could start with my 350 on conditions like this. In all three races I had a really good starts, so we passed that test with the new bike again.
In moto one I made a really good start, but after a small mistake in the first corner, I fell back to fifth. Later, when I was riding in third position, Clement Desalle came close to me and he was pushing so hard, that I decided to take no risk and let him go. A few laps later, David Philippaerts passed me and I finished fifth. In moto two I grabbed the hole-shot, and I kept the lead until the finish – I won that race. In the SuperFinal (the 15 best of MX1 & MX2) I again had a great start, … I had a good battle with Steve Ramon, but in the end I could pass him and was able to win the SuperFinal as well!
Over all again a great weekend, but especially I learned a lot about my new bike. This is great training, and that’s the importance of pre-season races like this!
Valence International Motocross race results:
1. Antonio Cairoli
2. David Philippaerts
3. Steve Ramon
4. Anthony Boissiere
5. Seb Pourcel
1. Ken Roczen
2. Marvin Musquin
3. Steven Frossard
4. Gautier Paulin
5. Valentine Teillet
I’m back in Rome again with my team. We will train here this week, and then I will ride the next Italian MX Championship in Castilion del lago on Sunday, February 28! I’m looking forward to ride in Italy again for my fans, so I will see you there!