Tony Cairoli edged closer to a ninth world title with a stunning overall MXGP win on the slippery hills of Loket in the Czech Republic. Despite saying he doesn’t really like the track that much and that he’s now riding with one eye firmly on the championship rather than trying to win every week, the Italian still managed to win the second moto and take the overall win to extend his series lead to 92 points over Clement Desalle who took second overall.
Cairoli spent most of the opening moto in fourth place in a race that saw very little overtaking. World champ Tim Gajser was quickly in the lead and held his own at the front to take his first moto win since Italy in April. Second was Desalle from Gautier Paulin and Cairoli.
Second time out the racing was far better as Cairoli reeled in leader Gajser, passed him and pulled away to take a clear victory.
Cairoli said: “It was one of the most difficult tracks for me so I’m really happy to get out of here with a win. I’m happy with the bike settings as we have made the perfect bike. Now looking to racing in the sand at Lommel and a good battle with my team-mates.”
Desalle backed up his second place in the opener by also catching Gajser and taking second away from him in race two after a couple of good starts. The Belgian Kawasaki rider said: “It’s a positive weekend. I had solid motos. I passed Tim and finished second two times. It’s a not a win but I’m working for podium so I’m happy for the team.”
For Gajser, his first race win was a return to form but despite leading race two, he couldn’t hold off Cairoli, Desalle and Jeffrey Herlings who slammed past, demoting the champ to fourth. But Gajser still ended up third overall.
He said: “In the second moto I had a really good start and the first couple of laps was feeling good but I lost my rhythm, and made some small mistakes. I’m just gad to be back on the podium after such a long time. I’ve been getting better every week so I’m happy.”
Max Anstie crashed in the opener and didn’t finish, but took 12th in moto two. Ryan Houghton was 25th and 23rd.