Yamaha Red Bull De Carli's Antonio Cairoli finally ended an unforgettable 2007 racing calendar by securing the European Supercross championship last weekend in Munich. A successful defence of his indoor crown means he adds yet another trophy to his immense collection from this season; including the FIM MX2 World Championship and the Italian national motocross title.
The fifth and last round of the European SX competition was not an easy won for the 22 year old, who had previously won three events (Bologna, Milan and Genova) and also took a second place at Bilbao in Spain. A crash in practice when he fell on the landing off a double jump caused some cuts and also bruising to his left hip and chest. The entry list was already quite tough with seasoned AMA supercross racers in the form of Rodrig Thain and Joaquim Rodrigues and Cairoli's main title rival Fabian Izoid.
The world champion was able to ride through the pain of his injuries to seize a victory in the semi-final event and his close tussle against Rodrigues kept the fans more than entertained. A bad start in the first of the twelve lap main events on Friday night however (the second was on Saturday) saw Cairoli again facing adversity. On a track that was difficult for passing he could only fight back from eleventh place to take seventh position. Crucially he was able to overtake Izoid in the closing stages and this achievement confirmed his third major championship of the year. With his work done Cairoli opted not to contest the second night in Munich due to the discomfort from his earlier accident
"I had decided that I wanted to be cautious at this meeting and just do what was needed to take the championship but the fall in practice complicated things," he said. "To ride well in supercross you need to be 100% and I could never get comfortable or find my rhythm after the crash; I wasn't agile enough to be quick and the track was also pretty dangerous in places. I won the semi-final but not really in the manner I would like. In the final I was practically last off the start and I had to battle to recover positions. I knew that if I passed Izoird that the title was mine, so that was my goal."
"I am really happy to be European Champion Supercross champion," he continued. "Last year the title came little bit as a surprise, but this year I really pushed and enjoyed the series because at every track there was a fantastic reception from the public. I believe this Championship is growing in terms of interest."
"2007 has been really long and at this last race I did feel some fatigue and perhaps also a slight fall of concentration; I think this is understandable," he added. "However it has been a fantastic season; full of victories! I really want to thank the team, together we have worked and sweated a lot and now can take great satisfaction from what we have done. Now we have a short holiday before we can think about the adventure ahead in 2008!"