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Cairoli takes Italian crown in Mantova thriller

 Tony Cairoli wrapped up his his sixth Italian MX1/Elite/Supercampione national title by taking a double victory in the sand of Mantova in Italy. Cairoli had won motos in Sardinia, Sicily and then again at the former Grand Prix venue in central Italy to earn his first accolade of 2018 on the works KTM 450 SX-F.

Cairoli said: “I had a great start in the first moto and a good rhythm to make a gap on Van Horebeek and controlled that until the end on what was a difficult and sketchy track. Another good start in the second moto but Febvre was close all the time and the track was getting deep with the ruts and I didn’t want to take any risks. We tried to stay as safe as possible and made the win happen. I’m really happy for this title and now looking ahead to Argentina.”

TC 222 takes title No6. Photos Stefano Talgioni/ KTM
TC 222 takes title No6. Photos Stefano Talgioni/ KTM

It was the 32 year old’s tenth crown in domestic competition and replicates the start of the 2017 campaign where #222 would go on to claim his ninth FIM world championship medal.

The event was marred by former world champ Tim Gajser who crashed out hard in the first moto. He had challenged Cairoli but then Jeremy Van Horbeek got by and the Honda man went down hard when he over-jumped a tabletop. He broke his jaw and had surgery on Sunday.

Romain Febvre tailed Cairoli home in the final race to take second from his Yamaha team-mate Van Horebeek wih Tanel Leok fourth.

Internazionali D’Italia, Rnd 3 of 3, Mantova, Italy
Supercampione standings
1. Tony Cairoli, Red Bull KTM

2. Romain Febvre, Yamaha
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek, Yamaha
4. Tanel Leok, Husqvarna
5. Alessando Lupino, Kawasaki

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