Cairoli continue to close de gap in Holland

This weekend saw the sixth round of the 2017 MXGP World Championship being held on the infamous black sand at Valkenswaard, a place that has been dominated by Antonio Cairoli, who has won six Grand Prix here in the Netherlands.

The weekend began well with another fantastic win in qualifying, the second in the last two GP’s, and he seemed to be on target to win the eightieth Grand Prix of his career. Unfortunately, a difficult start in the first race affected the chances of the KTM Red Bull Factory Racing Team rider, who was forced into making a difficult comeback. Frustrated by a visibility problem the best that Cairoli could manage was ninth position.

In race two Tony gunned his KTM 450SX-F to the front, scoring a great hole-shot. Setting the pace from the beginning, Cairoli maintained his advantage over his opponents, posting the fastest lap and keeping the top spot right up to the chequered flag. Unfortunately the poor result of the first moto meant a spot on the podium was missed by just a single point! The gap between Tony and first position in the standings, however, has now shrunk to just fourteen points. The Sicilian champion will return to race in 15 days time on the Kegums track for the Latvian Grand Prix, the seventh MXGP 2017 event.

Antonio Cairoli: “It was a tougher weekend than expected but other than the first moto everything went in the right direction, with victory in the qualifying moto and a good feeling on the track. Unfortunately at the first start I made a small mistake out of the gate and I slid the bike a bit too much, losing traction. From there it was an uphill struggle and I had to push really hard to claw back over twenty positions. 

Everything was going well, until I got into ninth position, behind my team mate. Just as I was going to pass him, I got a huge face full of sand that got inside my goggles and consequently into my eyes. From that moment I lost most of my visibility and I had to settle for the ninth position…certainly not the one I was hoping for in this race.

Between the two motos I was very angry about what had happened and I was also worried because my right eye was giving me some issues, preventing me from seeing too well. Despite everything, however, I managed to start in front, which simplified my job, controlling my opponents until the finish line, even if I was not as fast as I could have been without the visibility problem. It's a shame that we missed the podium by just one point, but today we have gained precious points and we are getting closer to the red plate.”Race 1
1-G.Paulin 2-J.Van Horebeek 3-J.Herlings 4-E.Bobryshev 9-A.Cairoli

Race 2
1-A.Cairoli 2-G.Paulin 3-J.Herlings 4-T.Gajser 5-J.Van Horebeek

Grand Prix Overall
1-G.Paulin 47p. 2-J.Herlings 40p. 3-J.Van Horebeek 38p. 4-A.Cairoli 37p. 5-T.Gajser 33p.

MXGP World Championship Standings
1-T.Gajser 234p. 2-A.Cairoli 220p. 3-G.Paulin 192p. 4-J.Van Horebeek 182p. 5-E.Bobryshev 176p.

Next Grand Prix: Latvia
, Kegums, 07/05/2017


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