Jill Cox interview – Her Man

Jill Cox is a very special lady in the Grand Prix paddock. The beautiful Dutchwoman is the fiancé of Antonio Cairoli, but it’s her happy smile and positive attitude that brings a special light in the KTM rig.

A young woman, who met Antonio Cairoli a dozen years ago, and their romance started just as Cairoli was climbing the rankings of the FIM Motocross World Championships. Giving up her own business to follow her man around the world, and help him through some of the toughest times of his life.

It hasn’t always been a story of positives, as Antonio lost both his parents at a young age. While he soldiered on, and his legacy grew, Jill Cox was there to make sure this sweet guy from Sicily had the love and devotion he deserves.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Jill and find out a little more about our 2017 World MXGP champion, and their plans for the future.

MXLarge: I was surprised when Antonio mentioned the people who doubted him, because I had never heard him in his career mention people who doubted him, and he seems to only listen to the people in his inner-circle. How was that with people saying he is finished or old.

Cox: Like I told you in person, he isn’t the type of person that reminds everyone how bad his injury was, or that he was still injured. He always believed if you don’t say it, then it doesn’t affect you mentally. Of course, his parents always told him to be tough, and don’t show your weak side, so only the close circle knew about the injuries, especially the nerve damage he had, because that took a whole year to come back. We knew the situation and he finished second, with this injury, so the people close to him, if he could finish second, maybe he could win another title. He had a really good off-season, they worked a lot on the bike and he won.

MXlarge: As fans, we can see he is special, strong minded, maybe the greatest track tactician ever, the way he works a race, but what makes him special to you?

Cox: What makes him special to me, he is the most caring person, and he has a big heart, he is of course from Sicily and he is taking care of his family, also financially. This makes his such a special guy.

MXlarge: What I have noticed about Antonio, he doesn’t seem to get emotional, even when he wins races, Grand Prix’s or titles, he contains himself. Why is that?

Cox: We have had a lot of ups and downs in our personal life, Tony losing his mama, losing Tony’s papa, I have never seen him cry, which is also not a good thing. When we talk about Tony, I can get very emotional, when I talk about myself, not emotional. I never see Tony emotional, and he isn’t going to be emotional at our wedding also.

MXlarge: How long are you guys together?

Cox: 11 years.

MXlarge: Wow, 11 years. When you first started going out with Tony, could you imagine it would be like this. You guys are living in a beautiful house in Rome, financially secure, a lot of money I imagine. It’s like this small guy from Sicily, he has his princess, he has his mansion, he has a pretty perfect life.

Cox: I think more about how fortunate I am. About the big mansion and the money, no, no, we take care of a lot of people, so that bit isn’t true about the money. He always says, we have a house, you can have four cars, but two is enough. So, you have to take back the bit about a lot of money and a mansion, if you knew the truth, but that is fine. For the rest, what I wanted to say, the perfect life, losing your parents is not the perfect life. His career is perfect, yet, but we are going to marry in a few weeks, and his parents will not be there, that is not the perfect life. Career wise, team wise, and his family, it is almost perfect. His close friends, they are friends for a long time, and I am glad they accepted me in this circle of people, because it’s a special group of people. They trust me and do as if I am one of them, and to enter its difficult.

MXlarge: Did they let you enter at first?

Cox: Yes, but I had to do some tests to be accepted.

MXlarge: You are a beautiful girl and Tony just this little guy from Sicily. Was that difficult, because maybe some people thought you wanted something else from the relationship?

Cox: I never felt that from the inner group, but I felt it from the outside. The people in the paddock knew us, and once you saw us together, it was obvious we liked each other. I am lucky I don’t get this doubt anymore, but I used to get comments through social media, that made me really sad, but Tony is a really strong guy, and he made me a strong girl, so most of the time, I could handle it.

MXlarge: One or two more questions. After motocross, I imagine you are somebody who would love children. Maybe travelling, what comes after motocross? Is that something you talk about?

Cox: Of course, our wish is to get children, minimum two. I also know Tony has another contract next year and he wants to sign for another couple of years and we don’t see kids in that yet. But, I am not so young anymore, so maybe we need to start trying. I am 30 already and just because of the age pressure. I mean I still love to follow him, so maybe not yet for children.

MXlarge: What comes in the future, stay in Italy? Where do you see you guys in 10 years?

Cox: Italy is home. I think I see in the future four wheels. If we finish two wheels, I see him doing four wheels. People are already pulling him to go four wheels. People want him in a year, but he isn’t done yet in motocross.

MXlarge: What doing rally?

Cox: He is going to test Formula One. Is already open, he will do some testing in Austria I think. First, he has to go to England to do the test, but rally it is.

Ray Archer images