By Geoff Meyer
Antonio Cairoli might not have won the opening Grand Prix of the season, but the defending World MX1 Champion showed enough to keep him as the early favorite to win the 2010 World Championship.
The Red Bull KTM Factory hero showed that his 350cc machine is a little slower than the bigger 450's, but he did enough to nearly take the GP victory on a circuit that he isn't known for doing well on. We decided to sit down with Antonio and ask him about his weekend and also the news of the Grand Prix of Unites States going ahead.
MXlarge: Antonio, early on you looked slower than the 450's, but by the end of the weekend you looked brilliant. Can you tell me what happened in Bulgaria?
Cairoli: Saturday was a good race, Max was just too fast. I think this is the most difficult circuit for the 350, so to be on the podium with this bike makes me very happy. The first heat on Sunday I didn't have a good start, for sure better than last year, I was at least top ten. Max had a good start and was pushing hard and took a good lead, I was under control, but then I nearly crashed into Sebastien Pourcel, he crashed in front of me and I hit his bike and I also lost a bit of control and lost two positions. I lost some places and was back in 10th place, but I came back to fifth, so that was okay. I was happy with that.
MXlarge: That second moto was really a good one for you. That pass on Nagl looked really scary, tell me about that?
Cairoli: The second heat I was really happy with. That pass Max knew I was jumping the triple and we came up to some lapped riders and everything was under control, it was an okay pass, just normal. I really liked the triple, also the waves, all the technical parts I enjoyed. This track I don't like so much, it's not really technical, so everyone is going the same speed, but it is the first time I win a race in this track, so it's good.
MXlarge: Changing the subject, what did you think when you got news about the USGP?
Cairoli: When I heard it I think for sure Mike Alessi organized this because he was always asking me to come to his house…. no I am joking. I called Mike straight away and I said we come to your place and sleep there. He doesn't want to race the Grand Prix I think. I stay at his place and train with him. I hope some good guys can race, like Dungey, Stewart, Villopoto some of those guys, which would be good.
MXlarge: It won't be easy racing against the AMA guys at Glen Helen. What do you think?
Cairoli: For sure it's going to be hard for us if they do race. The temperature is different than in Europe and they are used to riding that track, it is faster and different than our tracks, but for sure it will be a nice race. I have been there two or three times to America and once to Glen Helen, but I was very young and I don't really remember it that well.