GP Bits: MXGP of Citta de Mantova | Round 18

All Photos By MX July

The end of an era. This was Tony Cairoli's last MXGP.

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Passing of the torch.

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Tony Cairoli: “It’s amazing how my career has been. It’s still hard to believe I was nine times world champion. After so many years I still love to ride and I get so disappointed when I cannot make it, like today and the bad luck out there, I couldn’t make the podium today like I wanted but, overall, it’s been a good season. I was in the fight for the title up until halfway through the year and I think it was one of the nicest championships ever. I was sad I could not join the battle. Congratulations to all of them for making an amazing series. Thanks to all the people who have been involved in my ‘trip’ and all the fans.”

Jeffrey Herlings is the 2021 FIM World Championship with only five points over Romain Febvre and 10 points over Tim Gajser.

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Jeffrey Herlings:“I’m super-happy but at the same time I feel bad for the other two guys. I want to thank both of them for a great championship. My riding was terrible today! In the first moto I was just so scared to crash that I was riding very tight and got arm-pump. It was really bad but I still managed to bring it in. After four-five laps in the second Romain crashed and that gave me some seconds but at the same time I did not want to go full gas and make a mistake. I stayed in my comfort zone and was thinking and thinking. Tim came a bit closer but I just carried on doing my thing and didn’t look back. I went into training mode. I’m very happy to have made it happen and to go 1-1 today – even though my riding sucked – is really good. This wasn’t an easy championship. All three of us kept charging until the last moto.”

Maxime Renaux took the MX2 championship two races ago. Here he is with the round winner and teammate Jago Geerts.

Lucas Coenen won the five of the last six motos in the EMX125 Championship on his aluminum framed, Ohlins suspended, Bud Racing KX125.

Fantic Factory Racing team did awesome this year. Max Spies (left) won the EMX2T class, with Federico Tuani (not pictured) landing second in that class. Plus Nicholas Lapucci (left) won the EMX250 class.

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Rockstar Husqvarna Factory MX2 riders Kay de Wolf and Jed Beaton showing support for their EMX250 class teammate Maxime Grau.

The Diga Process GASGAS Factory Racing MX2 Team had a solid year with Simon Laengenfelder (516) and Isak Gifting (517) in 13th.

Cairoli wasn't the only one saying good bye to MXGP racing. After 21 years Kevin Strijbos is hanging up the boots.

Getting ready for one last ride.

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Jorge Prado: “I didn’t feel too bad today but still had to deal with my injury: it’s hard when you can start at the front and know you have to push but then deal with a lot of pain, especially through the corner exits. The other guys catch you quick, they pass and it’s tough to follow. I’m happy the season is over and I have some time to heal-up completely before starting to prepare for next year.”

Tim gave it an incredible run this season. Just some bad luck and small things kept him from the tittle. But third overall 10 points from the champ is not bad at all!

Tim Gajser: "To come third in the championship is obviously not what I wanted when we came to Mantova last week, but this season has been filled with a lot of ups and downs and sometimes things just don’t go your way. It was a really close season until the very end, and we had some really good battles and I think we put on a great show for all the fans. Congratulations to Jeffrey for winning the title, he did what he needed to do and it was good to finish the season with another tight race with him, pushing until the chequered flag. It sounds like we’ll be starting the season at the end of February so we don’t have much of a break but I will have a little holiday and then prepare myself for 2022. A big thank you to all of the team and all the fans, I am privileged to have such great support on and off the track and I look forward to trying to win my fifth title next year."

For the MXGP class rookie Thomas Kjer Olsen had a solid year with 9th overall in the points. “Today has been a great end to the season for me. I felt awesome on the bike in race one and finished sixth for my best result in the MXGP class. I also moved up to ninth in the final championship standings, so it’s been a great end to the year. At one point I dropped to 13th in the championship but then I really turned things around in the second half and improved my qualifying, my speed, and my feeling on the bike. I’ve been getting better and better and to finish ninth in the championship in my rookie year is a really great result. I couldn’t have done it without the great team behind me who have been so supportive throughout my first year in MXGP so it’s nice to repay their hard work with a strong end to the season.”

Once a TC222 fan, always a TC222 fan.

Factory KTM got so many MX2 holeshots this year.

Valerio Lata took the V in the EMX125 Championship.

Man this was a tight championship! Going into turn one Febvre has the points lead with Herlings right behind and Gajser in front of both. But that's not how the chips landed.

"ATTACK"

Romain Febvre: “To fall that close is really tough. I gave my best so I have no regrets, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the title. Right now I feel a little mad with myself for sure but that’s racing: it’s a hard way to lose but I gave my all. At the moment it’s really tough but I will get through it and be back to battle for the title for Kawasaki again next year. “

Rocking the new/old Kawasaki logo.

All these guys deserve that trophy.

The Monster Kawi team was rocking the sand deflectors like they have over the last couple years.

Also the last MXGP for the Scottish racer Shaun Simpson. And thats a wrap from Europe. Next up, Supercross.


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