Antonio Cairoli - So Long Champ

Posted on September 14, 2021

The greatest MXGP rider of the current era, and one of the greatest of all time, Antonio Cairoli will race his final full season this year. In what was an announcement that was expected, it still brings a lot of emotion to the fans of this amazing sport.

Cairoli has been the leader of this amazing sport since the moment Stefan Everts retired in 2006 an in the last 15 years the Sicilian has brought only good things to the sport. A magical determination racing at times against one of the toughest fields the Grand Prix’s have ever seen.

Now, after 18 years of GP racing, the little Italian steps aside for the new breed to take the sport to the next level. We spoke to Antonio last week in Turkey and he gave us a good idea what was to come today. A sad day for the sport, but a great day for this amazing athlete. More on the legend tomorrow.

Antonio Cairoli: If I was younger, I was maybe a bit wild and that can go well or it can go wrong, but I was really careful and a little too much. It is more enjoyable than it was before, because at 36 years of age and I am for sure not at the peak of my career, I am at the low part of my career, with my body and fitness. It is so tough now for my body, to recuperate or recover and I am not an old guy, but it isn’t 22 or 23. When you are there at that young age, you just open the throttle and I think more now. The experience is helping for sure. The speed is there but I mess up the start and the first corner are also not there, and we go back again to the 36-year-old guy, who is a little too careful in the first corner and they all go wide open. If I can fight with them, at this level now and it is a very high level of course. What the bikes allow now and even guys without technique, you can still go fast and that is why the top 20 are so fast.