Kiwi Rider May 2022 Vol.1 - Page 96



What do you do when you ’ ve been there and done that at the top of international MX competition ? Simple , you look for the next big challenge . For KTM stalwart Tony Cairoli , that next big challenge is taking on the Americans at home in the AMA Pro MX competition . The nine time world champion stepped away from full time Grand Prix racing at the end of 2021 , but racing is in the man ’ s blood and as a result he will line-up for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in the 450 MX gate for the opening rounds of 2022 AMA Pro Motocross in California . For Cairoli , taking on the high-profile American national series will fulfil a small ‘ bucket list ’ wish , with his initial races in the series set for the Fox Raceway National at Pala and the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento on May 28 and June 4 respectively .

“ It ’ s exciting to finally confirm that I will be racing in the U . S ,” Cairoli states . “ To ride and race in America is something I always wanted to try . I like the look of the tracks . For me there is no pressure to perform and I ’ m not going there with the same preparation as I would have had for a world championship , but I ’ m taking it seriously and would be looking for good results . I know this will generate some interest and it will be great to travel , see some friends and enjoy my time .” For the AMA series Cairoli will ride his traditional steed , a KTM 450SX-F with the iconic # 222 plate . It was on a previous edition of the 450 SX-F that Cairoli claimed the 2017 MXGP World Championship on , so he is already familiar with the bike . “ We couldn ’ t be prouder of having a rider and a person like Tony in our awning ”, says North