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🎥 MXGP: Rnd 4 Highlights – Trentino

6 months ago | Words: MXGP | Photos: Ray Archer, MXGP

Trentino hosts perhaps the most tranquil and serene circuit in the world, but today’s action was filled with intensity, vibrant emotions, and all-out battles. The venue set along Italy’s snowcapped dolomites filled with tens of thousands of fans all cheering with enthusiasm for what are the best motocross racers in the world.

As the first sessions hit the track and the stars of MXGP took to Trentino the crowd came to life. The majority of the fans cheering were for Italian motocross hero and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Antonio Cairoli but, in similar fashion to rivals playing a football match, Cairoli’s main competitor, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, had his own fans who made the trip from neighbouring Slovenia cheering just as passionately.

Race 1

When MXGP Race 1 got underway Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot and lead but Gajser was in around 5th. Cairoli’s fellow Italians, Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki’s Alessandro Lupino, and Standing Construct KTM’s Ivo Monticelli were second and third ahead of Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Gautier Paulin. Gajser was quick to make moves taking fourth from Paulin in turn 3 then he took third from Monticelli in the next turn before getting past Lupino for second in the first half of the opening lap. Gajser’s high tempo put him just behind Cairoli where he latched on and eyed the lines of the Sicilian.

Monticelli meanwhile took third from Lupino who dropped another spot to Paulin not along after. Paulin then worked his way past Monticelli to get into third but Cairoli and Gajser were already long gone. Cairoli held the gap to Gajser at about two seconds for multiple laps but Gajser closed in as the laps ticked away and dropped the gap to within 1 second to apply pressure to the 9-time world champion. On the 16th lap of 19, a bobble from Cairoli was all that Gajser need to take the lead away right in front of the Slovenian fans who cheered at the top of their lungs. Cairoli tried to retaliate quickly but a confident scrub and look from Gajser kept the Sicilian at bay. In the remaining three laps Cairoli continued to push to get Gajser back but it didn’t work and the Slovenian crossed the line only 1.081 seconds ahead much to the pleasure of not only himself but, also the corner lined with his fans! Paulin took 3rd another 53 seconds further back of the leaders with Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Teammate Arnaud Tonus fourth and Monticelli fifth.

Race 2

Race 2 was off to a good start for Gajser taking his first Fox Holeshot of the year. Cairoli was close in second with the two Wilvo bikes of Paulin and Tonus again third and fourth. BOS Factory’s Tommy Searle was in fifth a short moment before losing spots to the two Standing Construct KTM riders of Max Anstie, who didn’t finish race 1 and Ivo Monticelli.

All eyes were on the two at the front with Gajser creating a slight gap only to be taken back away by Cairoli. On the ninth lap, a miscue from Gajser saw the #222 of Cairoli go past along Pit Lane and across the finish line. With the Italian crowd on their feet, Cairoli tried to pull away from the Slovenian but Gajser wasn’t having any of it as he took the lead back five laps later in the same spot which he had lost the position earlier. With two laps to go Cairoli returned the favour again in front of pitlane to the Italian fans roar and the teams nervous yet enthusiastic looks. Two mistakes from Cairoli would however decide the race as the pair pushed the limits of both each other and their factory race machines. Cairoli’s first mistake took him out of the preferred line and the next only a few meters later resulted in him losing the bike and lead.

Cairoli got back up but Gajser was in the clear leading the final two laps to the win, his first since Leon, Mexico in 2017. Gajser’s emotion excitement and pure joy were unmistakable as he dropped his bike and ran thank the Slovenian fans lining the fences for the support. Cairoli finished 24 seconds later and congratulated Gajser as the headed to the podium joined by Paulin in third.

The amazing racing and perfect weekend capped off by winning at Trentino for only the second time in his career, the first was actually his first ever MX2 win back in 2015, left both Gajser and Team HRC ecstatic.

Video


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