If Ryan Dungey ended his day on a high note, Antonio Cairoli ended his four-race US tour (or will he be back for more?) on a low note. After hitting three consecutive holes in the last three motos leading to High Point, Cairoli got off to a “poor” start to moto one. It wasn’t really that bad in the grand scheme of things, but it was bad in the sense that his track position forced a mistake that ended his day early. Luckily for us, the friendly Italian stayed until the end of the motorcycles to tell us about his day.
“Yeah, I mean I enjoyed the track a lot this morning,” said Cairoli. “I had a good pace on the lap times I’ve been working on for a week already because I’ve been struggling a lot with the fast laps lately and yeah we had a good time. Not that far from the guys in front, like fourth place so I was very happy with the speed and then the first moto I didn’t have a good jump but I was probably, in the first corners I was good, I was like five, but then I went down to six, seven and I was like, ‘Okay, I need to be a little faster this time in the first few laps because the race before always made me lose some places in the first laps. But then I tried to move [Christian] Craig, I missed the ski jump out of pit lane and came into the turn too fast and was like, “Oooh, that’s too fast.” So I was trying to brake a lot, and of course he kept his line and I bumped into him, and I put my knee down so hard I felt like it wasn’t going to be good because my knee is already a little, from a few years, not well. So I was rolling like 8e9e up, and I started to feel that the knee was starting to get a little swollen and swollen with fluid. So I think I better try to get out there and get some ice cream and get ready for run two. But since I was out, I was like “Oh no, it’s not like the GPs [where gate pick for both motos is decided in qualifying] your door choice will now be your last. So it was my mistake. So, I went to the last moto, the last to the gate, also with the knee is this condition. I try to get a good start but at the first corner I get knocked out, like on 20e place, and with the knee in this condition and with the track so rough, I said “Okay, this is not the day we’ve been waiting for, and let’s move on. It was good, this experience but it’s time to move on.
It was an honor to have Cairoli here to race in front of his American fans, and we secretly hope that won’t be the last time we see him. Plus, you know fans can’t wait to see Dungey step onto the podium soon. Anyway, it was fun watching these “old” guys on orange bikes this summer.