It has been an intense and emotional week for FIM MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli after the tragic news surrounding the sudden death of his father last Wednesday. It is expected that the Sicilian and current MXGP series leader will compete at this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Matterley Basin with no indication so far that the 28-year-old will miss the eighth round of 17.

Cairoli still has two more years as part of his Red Bull KTM contract, which will take him into his 13th year and 14th campaign of Grand Prix after 2016. During the latter stages of the 2013 championship – his fifth in a row in the premier class – #222 commented that he would consider racing into his thirties and reiterated this desire for career longevity at Talavera de la Reina for the Spanish GP.

“I’m still feel happy to ride and don’t feel like racing is a burden which I guess happens to people when they get to a point when they want to stop,” the champion said. “I think I can do a couple more years for sure.”


There are parallels to Cairoli’s fondness for the Grand Prix scene and the homely confines he has within the De Carlis set-up of his KTM crew (people and environment he has been with since 2004) to Valentino Rossi’s similar philosophy in MotoGP where the Yamaha star is still competitive at 34 years of age.

“I like the whole package,” Cairoli commented. “I think Italians are also very passionate people for riding and motorbikes and maybe this is why Valentino keeps going. We live for the bikes and we are involved in ‘two wheels’ a lot. It is difficult to leave it. If you are healthy and the results are good then why not carry on?”

Tony also remarked on his association with the Austrians that will have reached seven years by the time his current contract expires. “I made a good decision to stay with KTM for many years because it is the best team and at the moment the best bikes with the best people around,” he opines. “There is no way to choose another brand, even if they offer more money. Actually I think that is a mistake that other riders make. They switch teams for something like 20,000 euros more and they don’t even know if they will actually get the money. Everybody can talk but there are few serious people in the paddock and they [KTM] are. It is better to have the best bike, enjoy riding and get the result.”

Lastly Cairoli is also open to the possibility of ‘sliding sideways’ and swapping his 350SX-F for a works Husqvarna FC350 if the De Carli operation ever detached itself from orange in search of a fresh challenge. If MX2 Champion Jeffrey Herlings moves into MXGP for 2015 (or even ’16) then the Red Bull team will have two big hitters in the premier class. “For me no problem,” he says. “For sure it [Husqvarna] is a KTM company and it is all one family now. If Jeffrey comes it will be nice and make the MXGP class more interesting and that is how it should be. MXGP should be the best with the best riders.”