Cairoli third in Switzerland
The wet mud of Frauenfeld saw Antonio Cairoli on the podium of the MXGP class for the fifth time in a row, and for the eleventh time this year. The Swiss Grand Prix was the fifteenth round of the 2017 season and now, with four more to go, the KTM Red Bull Factory Racing team rider is leading the series with 97 points over second.
Tony, who is a big fan of this track as he demonstrated with last season’s victory, started the weekend with two decent practice sessions. Picking the third gate for Saturday’s qualification race, the Sicilian won easily, taking his season pole tally to seven and putting himself in the driving seat for the main event. The track, having been affected by heavy rains throughout the entire week, was in good condition on Saturday but really sketchy and demanding on Sunday, with deep ruts and a lot of bumps. In the first moto Cairoli grabbed a decent start but lost a position and ended the first lap in fifth place.
Once he found a good rhythm he started pushing hard on his KTM 450 SX-F in the Swiss mud, moving up to third place six laps from the end, and closing down the gap on the leader to only a second, whilst putting in the best lap of the race on the last lap. The second moto was much more demanding, even though the eight time World Champion scored a fantastic hole-shot at the first corner. TC222 struggled to find the good lines and, as he admitted, rode too carefully, making a few mistakes that prevented him from being able to battle for the victory. Cairoli passed under the chequered flag fourth for a third overall place, the first of this season. Next round is in seven days on the hard pack soil of Uddevalla, for the MXGP of Sweden.
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m definitely happy with the result because it’s very good for the championship, but I’m not so happy with the race itself, because everyone wants to win and nobody more than me. In the second moto I rode a little too carefully and when you ride so carefully at the start, on this kind of track, then it’s easy to make mistakes. I made a few early on and I lost a lot of time, then I just couldn't pass the two riders in front of me. If I could have then the win was still on. I’ve just got to be more aggressive at the beginning of the race but I slipped in a few places and I over jumped the big table top, landing on the flat, luckily not crashing. Overall I’m not so happy with my riding in the second moto but I’m happy for the Grand Prix because it’s always good to be on the podium. We are approaching the end of the season, the title is getting closer and closer and that is our only goal at the moment. I look forward to the next race in Sweden, where I hope we can be on the box once again.”
Race 11-A.Tonus 2-M.Anstie 3-A.Cairoli 3-G.Coldenhoff 4-G.Paulin 5-R.Febvre
1-J.Herlings 2-G.Paulin 3-R.Febvre 4-A.Cairoli 5-T.Gajser
Grand Prix Overall
1-J.Herlings 40p. 2-G.Paulin 40p. 3-A.Cairoli 38p. 4-R.Febvre 36p. 5-M.Anstie 31p.
MXGP World Championship Standings
1-A.Cairoli 605p. 2-J.Herlings 508p. 3-G.Paulin 486p. 4-C.Desalle 483p. 5-T.Gajser 406p.
Next Grand Prix: Sweden, Uddevalla, 20/08/2017