News 14 Sep 2021

MXGP legend Cairoli to retire at conclusion of 2021 season

Red Bull KTM leader currently in the fight for 10th world championship.

Image: Supplied.

Nine-time world champion Antonio Cairoli has announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of the 2021 MXGP World Championship season.

The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing legend confirmed the news this morning, set to hang up the helmet following near two decades of international competition.

“This is going to be my last season as a professional motocross rider,” the 35-year-old announced. “It’s a very difficult decision because I’m still on the top. When you are there, you never want to stop because you feel you can still go for the wins.

“It’s time. I think some things change inside and you don’t really have the fire that you need sometimes in a lot of situations, so you struggle a little bit in some situations.

“And when it comes to that, I think it’s better to stop because I don’t want to just be there to take 10th place or something like that. So yeah, it’s better to make a decision like this, and we took it.”

Cairoli won the MX2 title in 2005 and 2007, before scoring this first premier class crown in 2009 – all with Yamaha. He switched to KTM the following year and won five more MXGP championships consecutively between 2010-2014, then added another in 2017.

In his 18th season of the world championship, Cairoli is currently ranked third in the 2021 championship standings, only 29 points outside of defending champion Tim Gajser. He will also represent Italy in this month’s Motocross of Nations (MXoN).