It was a good day in Latvia for Antonio Cairoli, who after the seventh round of the 2017 MXGP Championship reclaimed the red plate for his KTM 450 SX-F.
The eight time World Champion began his weekend with a solid third place in free practice, followed by a fifth in the timed practice, picking the fifth gate for the qualifying race.
After a difficult start in the Latvian sand Tony managed to fight his way back from outside the top 10 to finish seventh, showing good speed on a track that he usually enjoys riding. When the gates dropped in race one, the Sicilian rider wasn’t able to get the best possible jump, languishing outside of the top 15 at the first corner.
Launching his KTM over the sketchy jumps of Kegums, he passed rider after rider, before finally taking 5th at the flag. In race two the start went pretty well with Tony missing the hole-shot by just a few centimetres, before he went off the track, rejoining in 6th by the second corner. The good rhythm of the KTM Red Bull Factory Racing Team rider, allowed him to make some good moves, right up to second place, guaranteeing him the second step on the podium with 38 points. Cairoli has now regained the lead of the MXGP series, sitting 17 points clear of his closest rival. Next Grand Prix is in 14 days on the German soil of Teutschenthal.
Antonio Cairoli: “First of all I want to congratulate my fellow team mate in the USA, Ryan Dungey, who deservedly won his third SX title in a row this morning. As for myself, I’m not completely satisfied about how my weekend went, from a Championship point of view I’m happy, because my closest rival did worse than me and I've got the red plate back.What I’m not happy with, were my starts, that made my races way more difficult than they should have been. In race one I was outside of the top 15 from the start but luckily clawed my way back to 5th, which is not bad but I want to be fighting for the victory every race. In the second moto I was feeling ok, I almost got the hole-shot but went off of the track and down to sixth. Fortunately my speed was good and I made some decent passes back up to third place, just before Gajser had a big crash in front of me. I was a bit shocked because it was a big one but I just keep riding till the end, finishing second and luckily they told me that Tim didn't suffered any consequences.”Race 1
1-J.Herlings 2-A.Cairoli 3-A.Jasikonis 4-E.Bobryshev 5-C.Desalle
Grand Prix Overall
1-J.Herlings 50p. 2-A.Cairoli 37p. 3-E.Bobryshev 38p. 4-C-Desalle 38p. 5-G.Paulin 28p.
MXGP World Championship Standings
1-A.Cairoli 258p. 2-T.Gajser 241p. 3-G.Paulin 220p. 4-E.Bobryshev 220p. 5-C.Desalle 210p.
Next Grand Prix: Germany, Teutschenthal, 21/05/2017