Cairoli: You win the race on your training days
Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland caught up with nine-time world champion, Tony Cairoli, to discuss the season so far, quarantine and a lot of other topics.
On his start to the season Cairoli said: “I didn’t expect to have such a good race and good result in England because my shoulder was still not 100%, also I had some trouble with my knee, I twisted my knee In Lommel riding and stretched my collateral ligament which was already not looking so good, so I had to not ride for two weeks before racing in England. Actually, it was not too bad because the track was very rutted, you need to stay a lot on the pegs and it doesn’t really drag the legs so much, it was okay. I was very careful but the result was good. Despite the time of the year, the track was good, I really enjoyed the riding.”
“Valkenswaard is one of my favourite tracks but really, the knee problem on that track was giving me a lot of problems. You had to put the feet on the ground like 20 times per lap, it was not an easy, flowing Valkenswaard that everybody likes so I had to be very, very careful to no twist or stretch the problem on the knee . I was riding very, very conservative not to come out of that race with more damage.”
“This time (off) on one side helps because I could improve a little bit my problems and try to solve it but on the other side of course it’s the time you should build up the speed and the riding, for everybody it’s the same of course. But somebody who didn’t ride a lot before it’s also not really helping.
On staying motivated after such a long and successful career Cairoli commented: “For sure after so many years it’s not easy to find the motivation to train and stay on this level but like I said a lot of times but until I see I can’t improve somewhere or something, I keep going and doing the best I can to stay in front and fight for the podiums, so this what keeps me motivated. When I see one day I am not competitive anymore and don’t have the feeling to suffer and do my best especially in the training days, which are the most difficult. The races are most of the time fun, you win the race on your training days.”
Cairoli also said his young teammate, Jorge Prado, helps keep him motivated: “Jorge is a very nice kid and very technical, one of the best in the world without any doubt. It’s nice to train with him, I am quite a lot older than him and it’s also very important for the motivation to have someone young who is training with and to help him as much as I can to be world champion in the next years.”
Watch the full interview here as Cairoli talks about memories of his career, fitness videos and the MXoN in an office full of his racing memorabilia: