Eight times FIM Motocross World Champion Tony Cairoli insists he is still fired up for more MXGP success despite losing grip of the premier class last year for the first time this decade.
The Red Bull KTM rider is currently nursing two broken ribs but has been diligently using the off-season (and since recovering from his fractured left arm) in preparation to regain the crown he won six times in a row and since coming into MXGP in 2009.
“I’m very motivated and I feel good and I am riding well,” commented the Sicilian exclusively and who is in the last year of his contract with KTM. “When I think back to last year and the fact I could keep near the front when I was injured then I know I can still do well. If it stays like this then perfect.”
After such a hot streak of glory in the sport, the 30-year old (31 in September) knows that people will be looking at his progress throughout 2015 to see if the same ‘#222 magic’ and ability to win motos from seemingly any race position is still in place. The arrival and swift departure of Ryan Villopoto is fresh in the minds of fans: the decorated American AMA racer ultimately choosing retirement in 2015 after suffering injury.
“I know I will get this question a lot,” Cairoli said when asked if he was ready for the potential extra ‘analysis’ into his racing “but I don’t mind and I don’t care if there is not as much spotlight or the attention [compared to being defending champ]; it will be nice to have a bit less pressure at the start of a season.”