The twelfth round of the MXGP 2017 was hosted this weekend on the red soil of Agueda, Portugal. After a three year hiatus the Motocross circus returned, with Tony Cairoli scoring his second GP victory in as many weeks, on a circuit that he’s always loved with 5 wins and 10 podiums in the past. After a solid Saturday’s qualifying race ended in fourth place, the Sicilian started well in the first of Sunday’s motos.
Grabbing his tenth hole-shot of the season aboard his KTM 450 SX-F, Cairoli was passed at mid race distance by brand mate Herlings, who pulled away while Tony struggled to find a good rhythm, eventually coming home in second. The KTM Red Bull Factory Racing rider had another good start in the second moto, taking the lead after two corners, and pushed hard until he pulled a decent gap over second, managing to win the 82nd Grand Prix of his astonishing career, the fifth and second in a row this year. The eight time World Champion extends his lead on the Championship to 91 points over second place. The next race is in three weeks time in Loket, for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
Antonio Cairoli: "I felt really good today, it's the first time I’ve won in Portugal with KTM, so I’m really happy with that, and it’s also the first time that I’ve won two races in a row this year. In the first moto, after a really good start, I was struggling a little bit as I just couldn’t find a good rhythm and Jeffrey, who was faster in some sections of the track, passed me.
After a period of chasing him down I started to feel a bit tired and he managed to pull a good gap on me, despite my best efforts. Eventually I started to feel better and I managed to close in on him, but it was too late to try for the victory. In the second moto I was feeling good, I found some better lines and did my best to pull away. By two thirds distance I had a decent gap that, happily, I was able to manage until the finish line. I’m really pleased with how the Championship is going and I’m looking forward to the races that are coming up soon. Now I will take a week of rest and then we will be training and testing on the hard pack in Italy, before heading to Loket at the end of the month. My thoughts go to my family and to all the people that live in my home town of Patti, that suffered a disastrous fire during the week."
Race 11-J.Herlings 2-A.Cairoli 3-A.Jasikonis 4-M.Nagl 5-R.Febvre
1-A.Cairoli 2-J.Herlings 3-A.Jasikonis 4-R.Febvre 5-M.Nagl
Grand Prix Overall
1-A.Cairoli 47p. 2-J.Herlings 47p. 3-A.Jasikonis 40p. 4-R.Febvre 34p. 5-M.Nagl 34
MXGP World Championship Standings
1-A.Cairoli 478p. 2-C.Desalle 387p. 3-G.Paulin 383p. 4-J.Herlings 382p. 5-T.Gajser 310p.
Next Grand Prix: Czech Republic, Loket, 23/07/2017