Tony Cairoli delivers a knockout blow with a double win at Valkenswaard…
There used to be a time when Italians sucked ass in sand and it wasn’t uncommon for a rider who dominated one week on blue groove would then fail to even qualify in the soft stuff seven days later. Of course qualifying isn’t the hurdle it used to be and nowadays the outcome of ‘qualification’ merely decides gate pick for the points-payers, not that it really matters, as the leading Italians these days can ride in owt – sand, hardpack, mud, the lot.
That point is proved in Valkenswaard by Antonio Caroli. The defending MX1 champ smokes the pack in both races to take maximum points in a top three that’s surprisingly consistent on the day as Clement Desalle claims second overall with a 2-2 while Frossie Bear aka Steven Frossard takes third overall with a 3-3. The results sheets don’t tell the full story though as the battle for second in both motos between the Yamaha-riding Frenchman and the French-speaking Belgian is nothing short of all-out war.
Best of the British battlers is Shaun Simpson who speeds to eighth overall in the premier class on Steve Dixon’s fo-fiddy rocket ship with a solid 11-8 scorecard while STR KTM’s Baltic bullet Matiss Karro is next best of the ‘Brits’ in 12th courtesy of his 15-10 results. MVR-D’s Gert Krestinov takes 20th with a fantastic 18-19 run while Martin Barr scores a solitary point second time out on the Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki. Nez Parker has clutch and other engine issues to end the day pointless while Alfie Smith battles hard all day but fails to open his points tally.
1 Tony Cairoli Red Bull KTM 25+25=50
2 Clement Desalle Rockstar Suzuki 22+22=44
3 Steven Frossard Monster Energy Yamaha 20+20=40
4 Gautier Paulin Kawasaki Racing Team 18+14=32
5 Kevin Strijbos HM Plant KTM UK 15+16=31
6 Ken de Dycker Red Bull KTM 16+15=31
8 Shaun Simpson Monster Energy Yamaha 10+13=23
12 Matiss Karro STR KTM 6+11=17
20 Gert Krestinov MVR-D Honda 3+2=5
23 Martin Barr LPE Kawasaki 0+1=1
World championship standings as above.