Short, but oh-so-sweet. That’s the Internazionali d’Italia MX. And the Italian international series came to a fitting close in Ottobiano earlier today, with fan favourite Tony Cairoli claiming the MX1 and Elite crown.
With its most impressive rider line-up to date, including the first chance in 2017 to see MX1 rookie Jeffrey Herlings, and a fantastic crowd turn out, the third and final round of the international championship certainly lived up to the hype.
The entire series has been dominated by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli, and he signed-off the pre-season by sealing the MX1 and the Elite class titles and a nice winner’s cheque for €50,000. In MX2, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia was crowned the new champion of the class, while Gianluca Facchetti won the 125 class.
In the MX1 moto, Cairoli grabbed the Just1 holeshot but a small mistake let Van Horebeek into the lead, while behind, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings blew by Honda HRC’s Tim Gajser before losing the back end of his KTM 450 SX-F and then cartwheeling to the ground. Gajser had nowhere to go and the off collected the MXGP world champion. Gajser remounted but Herlings looked dazed by the hard hit to his head and DNF’d.
Up ahead, Van Horebeek made the most of contact between Evgeny Bobryshev and Cairoli – taking the race win. The Sicilian followed him home and Bobryshev took third. Van Horebeek’s moto win gave him second in the standings with the Russian Bobryshev finishing the series in third.
It was an extraordinary day for Cervellin Michele in MX2. The Venetian didn’t start well at all, but an incredible comeback was sealed when he took the lead on the 10th lap when he overtook Prado for an unlikely, but stunning victory. Michele took the top step of the podium ahead of Samuel Prado and Bernardini in third. Prado headed the MX2 rankings with 300 points, with Cervellin in second on 280 and Brian Bogers third with 165.
In the Elite class Cairoli started in third position but by the third lap he took the lead from Monster Energy Yamaha’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and the eight-time world champion checked out. Van Horebeek finished ahead of Jose Butron who claimed third, while Romain Febvre took fourth and Prado impressed with a fifth.
It was great day at the office for Husqvarna Ice One’s Mikkel Haarup in the 125 class, with two moto victories to take the overall. On the second step of the podium was Gianluca Facchetti, who finished second twice, and third on the day, with two fourth-place finishes, was Rene Hofer. Facchetti topped the 125 standings with 1340 points, second was Alessandro Manucci with 979 and third Emilio Scuteri on 695.
You can see the full 2017 Internazionali d’Italia – Ottobiano results here