One of the big news stories to come out of the Grand Prix of Finland was MX1/MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli’s MX2 role for Team Italia at the 2014 Motocross of Nations at Kegums, Latvia on September 27-28.
The Red Bull KTM rider has won the MX1 class at the last two editions of the world’s biggest motocross race and with David Philippaerts and Davide Guarneri alongside him representing Italy, the Sicilian has elected to try and conquer the 250 division; a domain under the control of Ken Roczen for the past four years.
For Cairoli it will mean harking back to some pleasant days of his career from 2004-2008 when he burst into Grand Prix as a flamboyant and feisty rider with Yamaha. He won the first of his seven world titles in MX2 in 2005 and 2007.
“It is almost seven years since I raced a 250,” he said at Hyvinkaa.
“I have won the last four motos that I have raced at the Motocross of Nations so I do not have any regrets [about switching from the 350SX-F]. I think it is the only way for us to be on the top spot this year, which is what we want.
“KTM have the best 250 and I’m the only one that can ride it [in the Italian team] and I’m also the lightest. It is not so bad,” he added. “I don’t expect a lot because you never know and there will not be much time to train.”
MX2 World Champion and team-mate Jeffrey Herlings is almost certain to contest MXGP or Open classes for Holland at Kegums, which mean the KTM stars are unlikely to match up and repeat their Lommel duel from 2012.
When asked how he thinks he might fare in MX2 Grand Prix if he were to change now, Cairoli said: “I don’t know! It is a good question but Jeffrey is in very good shape. I am coming from a lot of ups and downs this season. I’m not sure where I would finish.”