Watch: Antonio Cairoli’s Last Dance

Film/Text: Red Bull Motorsports

Hailing from Sicily, in Italy, Antonio Cairoli is one of the all-time great motocross riders, with multiple World Championship titles to his name. Antonio ‘Tony’ Cairoli entered his first FIM Motocross Championship in 2002 after growing up riding bikes. He wasn’t immediately successful but showed real promise and, as the season progressed, it was obvious that Cairoli was biding his time, learning the ropes and enjoying every single minute of it along the way.

Two years later and his patience paid off. The young Sicilian won his first MX2 championship race at Namur, widely regarded as one of the toughest tracks in the series. His impressive victory was backed up by a third-place finish overall, and his solid performance throughout the season put a championship win firmly in Cairoli’s sights. He wasn’t to be disappointed. In 2005, just three years after his debut, Cairoli took his first world championship with six wins under his belt for the season – despite an injury and a disqualification.

Aged 19, he was the youngest Italian to have won a major motocross world title. After just missing out in 2006, Cairoli won the championship again in 2007, with two rounds to go and 10 GP wins in the bag. In the same year he also had the chance to race in an MX1 GP and joined the class permanently in 2009. Suffice to say, he exceeded expectations and won his first MX1 championship with aplomb. Since 2009, Cairoli has continued to dominate the premier class of the World Motocross Championship – claiming the title every year up until 2015, when an injury ended his hopes for another victory prematurely.

Cairoli had already cemented his position as one of the sport’s all-time greats by that point, but he was far from done with the sport. In 2017 he won yet another championship and the following year narrowly missed out on the championship as he took second place overall. Injury curtailed his season in 2019, but Cairoli returned in style in 2020 as he claimed first overall in Latvia, and then amassed enough points to secure third overall for the season. 2021 started with more positive results for Cairoli, proving that he continues to challenge at the front of every race in which he rides.

Lifetime Statistics:
9 World Titles (6 consecutive)
1 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Victory with Team Italy
3 Individual Titles at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations
94 Grand Prix wins
179 podiums
182 race wins
93 pole positions
278 Grand Prix Raced
552 starts
10,708 points

Written by Slaw Dog

Just a dog trying to find my special bun.

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