After the announcement of Antonio Cairoli’s retirement at the end of the 2021 racing season, a special press conference was held in Mantova, Italy at the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, to celebrate the incredible achievements of the 9-time World Champion.
Present for the occasion was Infront Moto Racing President Giuseppe Luongo and FIM President Jorge Viegas who presented Cairoli with a Lifetime Award and announced that the number #222 will be retired from the FIM Motocross World Championship, meaning that Cairoli will hold on to this racing number forever.
Over the span of his incredible 18-year racing career, Cairoli has racked up nine world titles, 177 podiums and 93 Grand Prix victories and remains as one of the top title contenders in the 2021 title chase. This weekend the Sicilian will chase his first ever Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nationsvictory with Team Italy.
In honour of his achievements, Infront Moto Racing together with the FIM decided to retire the #222 from competition which Cairoli has worn consistently since 2007.
Infront Moto Racing President Giuseppe Luongo: “Antonio has made the history of MXGP, not only with his numerous titles, but also with his behaviour, with his respect and with his fairness, he is an example for all the young. We will miss Antonio on the race track, but hopefully we will not miss him in our world where he will continue to offer his experience and knowledge to the next generations. Antonio, thank you for all you have offered and you continue to offer to Motocross.”
FIM President Jorge Viegas: “What else can I say. This kind of champions is what we work for. When Tony, not the rider but the man, is leaving us we are losing a member of the family. But Tony will stay with us for sure, I don’t know what he will do but of course he will stay with us. And I’m pleased to stay, in our hearts, thank you for all that you gave to us and please stay as you are, a great man. Thank you”.
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “We’ve had the privilege to be part of Tony’s story since 2010. We know how much we value him as a person and as one of the best riders the sport has seen, and it special that the rest of MXGP feel the same way with this retirement of his number. #222 belongs to Tony. He owned MXGP for a time when he changed the game and brought so much dominance to the championship. He raised it to a new level for riders while also showing a passion for racing that allowed him to have such a long and amazing career. Thanks to Infront Motor Racing and to the FIM for making this gesture. It’s not often a remarkable athlete like Tony comes along.”
Antonio Cairoli: “Thank you everybody for this nice press conference, I really didn’t expect it. Here in this paddock, I think I made a lot of friends and I think everybody likes me because I am who I am in and outside of the track. I wish I could stay longer but my body is not recovering as well as in the past race after race. I think it’s time to do something else but to stay of course inside the paddock and help other kids to grow and to follow the same dream I had when I was a kid. Thanks to everybody for this amazing journey, I am really happy to be here, and I hope to continue to help MXGP and all the kids that are dreaming”.
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