Nine-time world champion set for American appearances in 2022.
Legendary Italian Tony Cairoli will enter the opening two rounds of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Fox Raceway and Hangtown, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has formally confirmed.
The 36-year-old retired from MXGP at the close of last season and indicated that he had the desire to compete in the US, which will now happen next month in California.
“It’s exciting to finally confirm that I will be racing in the US,” Cairoli commented. “To ride and race in America is something I always wanted to try.
“I like the look of the tracks, for me there is no pressure to perform and I’m not going there with the same preparation as I would have had for a world championship, but I’m taking it seriously and 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.”
KTM Motorsport director Pit Beirer stated: “It’s a big pleasure for us to finally reach the stage where Tony is able to race again and to attempt one of his ambitions. Our Red Bull KTM structure means we can be fully ready for him in the US and can give him all our support.
“Tony is an icon and still an important part of our racing program and it feels like this is the least we can do to pay back all the wins, the titles and the stories he has made with us for over ten years. I think it will also be cool for the American motocross fans to see some of the special talent that made Tony one of the best riders in world championship history.”
North America Red Bull KTM team manager Ian Harrison welcomed Cairoli to Pro Motocross, however, there has been no word if current world champion Jeffrey Herlings will in fact line-up for a full season in America this year.
“We couldn’t be prouder of having a rider and a person like Tony in our awning,” Harrison said. “He’s a true legend of the sport and one of the best riders of the modern era. His achievements are matched only by the impact he has had around the world.
“We know he’s been preparing to race out here and we’ve also been readying everything to give him the best amount of support. As we saw right up until the end of 2021 MXGP he is still extremely competitive, so I think that will be exciting for the fans in the US to watch him in action.”