Tony Cairoli gave the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team a superb first victory on debut riding the manufacturer’s revolutionary 350 SX-F at Star Mantova in Italy on Sunday with a first in MX1 against the top factory-backed 450s of the Motocross World Championship.
Cairoli, the reigning MX1 World Champion and the latest recruit to the Red Bull Factory Racing squad rode the ground-breaking bike to victory in the first two of three finals and was third in the last race for a clear overall victory.
“It was a fantastic start for me and I enjoyed riding the 350 bike,” said Cairoli. “Today I wanted to do some tests to see how it went at the start and everything went well for me. I’m happy with the bike and the results today and its always a terrific atmosphere here at Mantova.”
Cairoli, who joined the KTM family together with his manager Claudia de Carli, wrapped up the Star Mantova with 70 points to finish in front of Belgian riders Steve Ramon and Clement DeSalle. The Italian thrilled the home fans with two superb rides in the first two motos and was third in the final race. Cairoli, who already has two MX2 and one MX1 title, enjoys cult status with the fans at home.
The results were a great start to the 2010 racing activity for KTM and the factory riders following the official factory team launch and presentation of the new KTM 350 SX-F bike at a reception on Saturday in Mantova.
The latest orange racer features an all new chassis and frame and a pro lever linkage system for increased controllability and has been developed by the KTM R&D department in close consultation with Stefan Everts. The 10-times MX World Champion is team director of the Red Bull KTM Racing Team and together with Pit Beirer, KTM’s off-road sports director, has formulated a three-year development program aimed at winning both the MX1 and MX2 world championship titles.
KTM Teammate Shaun Simpson, who missed much of last year because of injury made a triumphant start to the season by being well up with the bigger 450 machines in the race format which combines both MX1 and MX2. Marvin Musquin, KTM’s MX2 world champion moved up the ranks as the days progressed to finish behind teammate Simpson in second place on the final podium.
Simpson was the best MX2 rider on the day, a good omen for his return to the track, fit and healthy in 2010. Like Cairoli, the Scottish rider also won the first two motos and was second to Musquin in the third.
“The entire race weekend was good for me,” Simpson said. “I just wanted to come here and fun. The first two races went really well but then I crashed in the third race. I had a good start and the good race in the first and I finished up there in fourth place with the 450s and then I was really pumped for the second race. I came seventh but then I had the crash in the third. I’ve only been on the bike for two weeks so it was a good result for me. I’m in good physical shape and now I’ll settle down to training on the bike.”
Star Mantova is the first of the pre-season races and one which is a perfect opportunity for teams and riders to face off against the opposition and test their form and their machinery.
1. Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM, 70
2. Steve Ramon, Belgium, Suzuki, 52
3. Clement DeSalle, Belgium, Suzuki, 51
4. David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha, 51
5. Marc De Reuver, Netherlands, Suzuki, 50
1. Shaun Simpson, Britain, KTM 72
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM 65
3. Arnaud Tonus, Swizterland, Suzuki, 56
4. Markus Schiffer, Germany, KTM, 56
5. Herjan Brakke, Netherland, Yamaha, 43