Knee injury sustained in the opening moto causes double DNF.
The stint of nine-time world champion Tony Cairoli in the US came to a conclusion on Saturday, his four-race guest showing in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ending with a knee injury that caused a double DNF at High Point.
Cairoli had initially been due to contest the opening two rounds and that was extended through Thunder Valley and Mt. Morris, however, that decision was made prior to this past weekend that he would be heading home to Italy.
The decision for the 36-year-old not to continue his welcome entry in the American series came with a share of disappointment since it’s understood that he was requesting a bonus structure in order to keep lining up. Following his retirement from MXGP at the end of last season, Cairoli has been under an ongoing ambassador arrangement with the Austrian brand.
“In practice this morning, I felt better than the previous race, of course the pace was much better and we worked a little bit on speed this week, so the feeling was good,” he said. “First moto, the start was okay with sixth on the first lap and I knew I needed to attack to win some positions, but I made a mistake and touched together with another rider and I put down my knee really hard.
“I felt it immediately because this knee is giving me some trouble already and it was a big hit. It started swelling up and fluid inside, so I pulled off. Second moto, I was last off the start because it’s a different format than in GPs and I was a little surprised at the silly mistake I did and I had to line up on the outside, which is not the ideal place to start.
“With the knee in this condition, I couldn’t really pull a good start and then I was out of the top 20. I got back up to 13th, but I was struggling a lot with my knee, so I decided it’s not really a good day, let’s move on. We had a good time here… For sure I would like to end up in a different situation, but it’s okay. We are not hurt so bad, just a bad day.”
Cairoli was sixth in the 450MX standings entering High Point – still currently ninth despite not finishing last weekend – and achieved a best result of fifth overall in Colorado’s third round of the season.