Tony Cairoli on the KTM RC16 today in Valencia

Antonio Cairoli's two-wheeled 2017 season could not have closed any better; after winning his ninth Motocross title and marrying his life partner Jill, the Sicilian climbed onto a powerful RC16, made available by KTM, for an interesting test at Valencia's Spanish circuit. Assisted by the Austrian test team and advised by Finnish ace Mika Kallio, Tony went to the track five times, putting in 22 laps, during which he first had to familiarise himself with the inverted 1 up, 5 down, gearbox before setting off on a series of rolled laps, trying to find his limit on the 200+ hp beast. Reaching over 300 kilometers per hour, Cairoli far exceeded even the highest expectations of him, leaving everyone present astonished at how easily he adapted to such an extraordinarily powerful and demanding machine. Ten years after his first and only appearance on a road bike, TC222 has once again proved to be an unmatched midfielder.

Antonio Cairoli: “I am grateful to KTM for the fantastic opportunity it has given me today and I would like to especially thank the guys in the test team who did a great job for me. Trying a MotoGP bike was always going to be hugely exciting and the adrenaline rush was enormous! I was surprised at how much the Grand Prix motorbike has evolved in ten years and how much has been improved in how it can corner. 

The brakes and acceleration are impressive and it's hard to find the limit on such a perfect bike. On the last run I started to have some serious fun after spending a few laps adapting myself, especially to the gearbox which is backwards compared to any other bike. Having Mika Kallio ride in front of me was very important as I could follow his lines, allowing me to improve lap after lap, finding the best trajectories. 

Riding at more than 300 km / h is really exciting, but it is very different to motocross as in MotoGP the lines are well established and don’t really change during a race….completely opposite to how the lines develop in motocross throughout the course of a moto, anyway I hope to have again soon another opportunity to ride this fantastic bike."


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