Motocross World Championship
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Tony Cairoli had a magnificent day in the soft sands of Lommel, Belgium on Sunday to seal his 34th career GP victory with a very impressive two moto clean sweep in the MX1 GP.
Also back on top of his game was factory teammate Max Nagl of Germany, who put in some of his characteristic blitz starts out of the gate and finished with a second and third for overall second place on the podium.
Cairoli puts the KTM 350 SX-F through its paces in style
Cairoli of Italy, the reigning MX1 world champion has now well and truly put the new KTM 350 SX-F through its paces winning no less that 12 races so far this season on the superbly agile racing machine.
The two race wins this weekend in Lommel were his fourth and fifth moto victories in succession. Tony is now leading with 79 points clear of Belgian Clement Desalle in the season's standings. While many competitors struggled with the deep and much pitted sand on the Lommel track, Cairoli flew over it with impressive ease and never looked threatened in either of the two motos.
Obviously delighted with his victory after two difficult races, he leapt onto the podium enthusiastically waving an Italian flag.
Tony Cairoli says "It was a nice race. I like to ride in the sand and this is my favorite track. It's hard and rough and you have to be really technical. You also have to be very fit to win here. It proves my training is going well and my speed is good, also that my technical riding is good so I am pretty satisfied about the weekend and both wins here in Lommel."
It was a very good weekend for Nagl, who was able to rest and heal a fractured collarbone during the mid season break in the race calendar and although he said he was very tired at the end of the second race, Max also sent a strong message to his rivals that he is well and truly back in the hunt for a top place in the final season's rankings.
Max Nagl says: "I'm very happy to be on the podium this weekend and I never expected that. I had some problems yesterday because I couldn't find my rhythm and I wasn't fast enough. Things haven't been going so well for me and I was having a few negative thoughts but last night I had a good talk with Stefan (Everts) and today everything was different."
"I got two holeshots and that was very important for me. In the first heat I was able to follow Tony and I could see I had the speed. Then I had a crash in the last lap of the second heat because that was because I was very tired." Max is looking forward to Loket in the Czech Republic next weekend and said he hopes to make up some more points on third placed David Philippaerts. "I still have a chance of finishing third in the championships and I will try to do it," he said.
Rui Goncalves the factory team's Portuguese rider was able to add 29 points onto his tally for the season and rounded off his day with a sixth and a seventh place, which has been his best result so far as he works his way back to full fitness after shoulder surgery in the early part of the year.
Rui Goncalves says: "It's my best results for the year so far so obviously I'm happy with that. I was able to focus on my training in the four week break and put in some hard work and that has paid off. I wasn't happy with my starts and that made things a bit complicated in the first laps but I was out there fighting hard and I put myself in a good position to be up front. Now I look forward to Loket and I will try to do the same there."
Riders compete next weekend in the Czech Republic at Loket on a had pack track.
MX1 GP Results
1. Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM 25-25-50
2. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, 22-20-42
3. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki, 20-18-38
4. David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, 18-15-33
5. Tanel Leok, Estonia, Honda, 8-22-30
7. Rui Goncalves, Portugal, KTM, 15-14-29
MX1 Championship Standings
1. Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, 484
2. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Suzuki, 405
3. David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, 364
4. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM, 348
14. Rui Goncalves, Portugal, KTM 153