First it was a rumor and now it’s official, the nine-time motocross world champion will be in the opening two races of the 2022 AMA Motocross.
The Italian will fulfill a little ‘bucket list’ wish by turning his attention to the high-profile US National series and is initially scheduled for appearances at Fox Raceway National in Pala and the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento on May 28 and June 4. respectively.
The 36-year-old stepped away from Grand Prix racing full-time at the end of 2021 after a brilliant career in which he became the second most successful driver in the sport’s history. Cairoli will once again feel the heat of the competition with his #222 KTM 450 SX-F; he used an earlier edition of the motorcycle to claim the 2017 MXGP World Championship. He also amassed six titles on the KTM 350 SX-F and earned the notable distinction of winning at least one Grand Prix every season for an era-defining 18 years at the highest MXGP and MX2 level.
Tony Cairoli: “It is exciting to finally confirm that I will compete in the USA. Racing in the United States is something I’ve always wanted to try. I like the look of the tracks. For me there is no pressure to perform and I am not going there with the same preparation that I would have had for a world championship, but I am taking it seriously and I would be looking for good results. I know this will generate some interest and it will be great to travel, see some friends and enjoy my time.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “It is a great pleasure for us to finally reach the stage where Tony can race again and try to fight for one of his ambitions. Our Red Bull KTM structure means that we can be fully ready for him in the US and we can give him our full support. Tony is an icon and he continues to be an important part of our racing program and it feels like this is the least we can do to pay for all the wins, titles and stories he has made with us for over ten years. I think it will also be great for American motocross fans to see some of the special talent that made Tony one of the greatest riders in world championship history.”