Italian Tony Cairoli is one of the sport’s greats, having won world titles in both the MX2 and MX1 classes. Since making his 125cc debut at the GP of Belgium in 2002, he has won an astonishing 72 GPs in total, including 24 in MX2, 39 in MX1 and 9 in MXGP, and is now rapidly approaching Stefan Evert’s all-time record.
He grew up in Sicily, and was taking part in competitive minicross races on a LEM50 by the age of 11. Riding his debut season in 2004 on a Yamaha, he picked up his first GP win at Wallonie, Namur, finished third overall, and hasn’t looked back since. His first MX2 world title came his way in 2005 and he finished second in 2006, first again in 2007 and sixth in 2008.
He made the step up to MX1 in 2009, and wasted no time settling in, winning the championship at his first attempt. For 2010, he switched to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, but the result was the same as he captured his fourth world title. From then on, he was all but unstoppable, winning the MX1 crown every year over the next three years.
The 2013 title was won in particularly impressive style – he took six pole positions, won nine Grand Prix and missed the podium only in the Czech Republic, before wrapping things up at Matterley Basin in the UK. It was his seventh FIM Motocross world title, and cemented his reputation as one the finest motocross riders of all time.