What do you get if you combine the raw speed of Ryan Villopoto with the in-race management of Ryan Dungey? That’s right, Antonio Cairoli!

After two years of injury, Cairoli came back to win his ninth world title at the ripe old age of 31 in 2017 and reclaim the title of best motocross rider in the world.

It was a stupendous achievement against the young guns of Jeffrey Herlings and Tim Gajser, and for the first time we saw Cairoli push hard on numerous occasions, showing that he did indeed have the speed of Herlings when he needed it!

Cairoli combined that speed with smart riding and his legendary ride from last in Arco as well as his battles with Herlings in the second half of the season will make his 2017 MXGP title one of the sweetest of his career.

There was  simply no-one more deserving of the rider of the year award than the amazing Tony Cairoli in 2017 – what a phenomenal rider!

You can get an insight into Cairoli’s mentality in 2017 in this excellent video:

Pic: KTM Images/Ray Archer

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