Todd Waters on MXGP and Cairoli – incredible
Former MXGP rider, Todd Waters, had some interesting things to say on the Gypsy Tales show recently when talking about the level of MXGP – and just how good Tony Cairoli is to still be at the front. Comparing his time as a factory Husqvarna rider when he was full time in the mid 2010s, Waters feels the class is even more competitive than it was then thanks to the young riders coming up from MX2.
“I was over there (in MXGP) on the Honda (2018). I got a 12th and I am battling with Bobryshev and Nagl, when I was over there (previously on factory Husqvarna) that was a podium! We haven’t changed – all these other punks are in front of us! When we podiumed, Herlings wasn’t in there he was MX2, Gajser, Seewer, all these (young) guys, they weren’t there and they are just coming up. That’s what makes Tony Cairoli just incredible.
“At the last round at Imola, I battled Tommy Searle, and both Searle and I caught up to Max Anstie, I just had a hell of a race. We are nailing each other, I hit Tommy Searle and he’s tried to hit me and I’m pretty wide! He’s ended up on the ground, things are going everywhere. GP’s are insane, we are going for it and you have just done a full day before you have even scored a point. Your body is fatigued and you are going for it, there’s roost and there is all these people going everywhere. They are aggressive in GPs, at the end of the day there are 20 dudes that are so fast. It’s just carnage, it doesn’t get so spread out like you think. I thought that was the sickest race ever, I caught up to Max and I think he podiumed three or four times that year, and he is back battling with me in 14th!
“At the end of the day it’s the world championship, that’s how it should be. It’s the best in the world. Now, because of that age rule, it is. When I was there it was kind of a new thing so the MXGP class was, I wouldn’t say thin, but you had your Desalle and Cairoli and your few dudes that just won, like Tomac and Roczen (in the US), whereas now Anstie is in 14th one week and then he can be on the podium.
“It’s incredible (what Cairoli is doing to still be battling at the front in his mid 30’s). Not that I had a lot to do with him, but we raced Italian championship and we would go across on the ferry and stuff like that and one memory that stuck with me, in Sardinia, cold little island in winter, deep sand track. we are on the start line, Jill and I were standing there watching the MX2 start and we are like, ‘oh, there is Cairoli!’ I’m just that pumped! He comes straight over and says, ‘hey Todd, I just want to welcome you to Europe,’ my old man was over in his truck getting photos. When we on the ferry he comes over and talks to you, his wife Jill always comes over and says hello, and gets on with my wife Jill well. The GP’s, they are really relaxed. At that track in Sardinia, it is hard to do 30 minutes around it, and he was doing hour motos. He would just fill up half way and do an hour moto!”
Waters also revealed just how much exposure and reach the US MX and SX scene has had in Australia and how it has traditionally dominated the minds of riders down under with MXGP flying largely under the radar, but that it is starting to change with the Australian saying: “We see a lot of things from America, here in Australia we look at America mostly. It’s only these last, say five years, that we started looking at the world Grand Prix and stuff. When I went and raced there, I didn’t know any of the riders but I knew everyone on the start line in America. We look at a lot of stuff in America.”