Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli will not rule out a last-gasp snatch of the 2016 MXGP FIM World Championship.
The Sicilian banked his third podium from the last three rounds and seventh of the season at Assen on Sunday and also scored another moto victory for the second GP in succession on the way to the runner-up step of the box.
With Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser enduring his worst weekend of the year (only the second time in 16 events that the Slovenian has missed the top three) Cairoli has reduced the deficit in the MXGP standings from 99 to 65 points. “There are 100 points still [left] so anything is possible,” the eight-times world champ said. “It will be difficult but we will try to win because that’s all we can do.”
Cairoli rode to a 4-1 on the works 450SX-F as well as a dominant pole position on Saturday to indicate he is hitting hot form and finally seems to have banished the effects of his pre-season injury at a crucial time. Grands Prix in the United States at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Glen Helen (where Gajser claimed his MX2 crown last summer) in the next week so will bring MXGP to a close. If Cairoli wins both motos against the likes of the Honda man, Assen winner Clement Desalle and American imports like Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia then he will need his 19-year-old rival to finish 13th or lower in both races to extend the series onto a Californian climax.