Red Bull KTM’s MX1 factory rider and five times world champion Tony Cairoli wrote himself into the sport’s history books on Sunday when he sealed his fiftieth Grand Prix victory at the MX1 GP of Czech Republic at Loket.
Cairoli’s ride on the light and nimble KTM 350 SX-F was a model of cool, calculating riding skill and allows him to join the ranks of the greats. Only three riders have ever achieved the 50-win milestone, Joel Robers in the 1970s more recently Joel Smets and Stefan Everts, the Red Bull KTM Factory Team director, who took his 50 wins eleven years ago and went on to double that number. It was a great day’s racing for the KTM factory team with Cairoli’s historic victory preceded by a great win in MX1 by Jeffrey Herlings.
Max Nagl also made a heroic return to MX1 racing on the new KTM 450 SX-F after a very long injury pause and multiple back surgeries and powered his KTM 450 SX-F into overall fourth place. The team’s third MX1 rider, Ken de Dycker of Belgium finished sixth overall on the technical, stony and very hilly circuit at Loket directly west of the capital Prague and near the German border.
Tony Cairoli: “I am very happy with this victory because it is my fiftieth so it is special. Now Matterley Basin will be nice because it will be rough and I like it like that. Even if there is a lot of people riding on it they will prepare it very well and I think it should be a good race.”
Max Nagl: Even I was not expecting to do this well today. My plan was to get some good starts and just try to follow the others but in the first heat I was fifth at the start and finished third. That was amazing for me. I had a huge holeshot and was far in front in the second race and I even led for a couple of laps. Then I started to get tires because I am still only 80 per cent fit but the speed is there.”
Ken de Dycker: “This was a difficult track for me for sure because I didn’t get the good jump I needed. Here you can’t make up ground and you can’t make mistakes. I am still happy with the result because it was very hard. I gained some points on Paulin so I think for the next GPs it’s going to be much better.