Cairoli Eyeballs 10th World Title!

9 months ago | Photos: Taglioni S./KTM Images

When Red Bull KTM’s Antonio Cairoli won the 2017 MXGP FIM World Motocross Championship, it was the gritty little Italian’s ninth world MX crown. And if his form at the pre-season shakedown in Sardinia is anything to go by, then the 32-year-old Cairoli could be on track this year to equal the great Stefan Everts’ record tally of 10 world titles.

Yep, Cairoli won both races at the opening round of the 2018 Internazionali Motocross at Riola Sardo in Sardinia on the weekend, and put his younger and more fancied rivals – such as teammate Jeffrey Herlings and Honda’s Tim Gajser – on notice that the old dog ain’t done with just yet.
Here’s the factory KTM team’s snapshot of the weekend’s racing in Sardinia…

The bumpy sand of Riola is familiar to the Red Bull crew and a host of their Grand Prix rivals as a popular pre-season venue for testing and training. On a cloudy day for the very first significant motocross fixture of the year, Cairoli (the defending national champion) was in impressive form to win both the MX1 moto and the second ‘Supercampione’ outing.
Teammate Jeffrey Herlings collided with several riders entering the first corner of the MX1 sprint and crashed heavily. Fortunately the Dutchman was unhurt, aside from some bruising to his back. Countryman Glenn Coldenhoff rode to 11th and ninth positions while nursing a sore left hand as a consequence of a minor training accident the previous week. The #259 was limited with his clutch operation and opted to gain safe and valuable race mileage.
Tony Cairoli: “The first race of the season is always difficult simply because it’s the first one. But we had a good weekend. We are still testing some parts for the GP season and the Italian Championship is always a good time for this. We’re looking forward to the next few races.”
Glenn Coldenhoff: “The first race in the books. I picked up a small injury last week during practice so my speed and riding wasn’t the best today, but I was still happy that I could race. I’m going home to get some treatment now and then we’ll look towards the International at Hawkstone Park.”
Jeffrey Herlings: “I was lucky that the crash wasn’t too bad, but getting run over wasn’t much fun! The bike was pretty damaged so that meant it wasn’t possible to continue. It was a shame we couldn’t race, but at least this is an upgrade from this time last year when we came away with a broken hand. Aside from today, I’m feeling good with the bike and we’ll go again next week.’

In the MX2 class, reigning FIM World Champion, Pauls Jonass, took his 250SX-F to a 2-6 scorecard; the second ‘Supercampione’ moto involving competition against the larger 450cc motorcycles. The Latvian rode positively on the #1 machine to recover from a first moto tumble. Teammate Jorge Prado did not take part in the meeting.
Pauls Jonass: “I’m happy to get the first race behind me. I’m happier than I was this time last year as I struggled a bit more then and my riding was not too bad. I made a stupid little mistake in the first race and had to come back from 10th up to second. I then rode calmly and decided not to take any risks. We still have some time to improve before the season.”

Tony Cairoli will enter the second round of the series at Noto next weekend while Glenn Coldenhoff, Jeffrey Herlings and Pauls Jonass will tackle the black sand of Hawkstone Park for the 2018 edition of the well-established annual International meeting in the UK.



  1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM)
  2. Max Anstie (Husqvarna)
  3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha)
  4. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna)
  5. Romain Febvre (Yamaha)
    DNF Jeffrey Herlings (KTM)


  1. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) (AUS)
  2. Pauls Jonass (KTM)
  3. Calvin Vlaanderen (Honda)
  4. Alvin Ostlund (Yamaha)
  5. Michele Cervellin (Honda)


  1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM)
  2. Max Anstie (Husqvarna)
  3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha)
  4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha)
  5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna)

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