Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team
When Antonio Cairoli DNFed the Saturday qualification race and Jorge Prado finished second to Thomas Kjer Olsen, many inside the GP paddock might have figured that the weekend might not be an orange wash after-all. Well, on Sunday, when Cairoli and Prado went 1-1-1-1 the competitions greatest nightmare arrived.
Just like in 2018, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team came into this season as the heavy favourites in both MXGP and MX2 and not even an off-season injury to defending MXGP champion Jeffrey Herlings could stop that favouritism.
For Cairoli, without the Dutchman on the start line didn’t change his mind-set and motivation to finally win at the beautiful circuit in Argentina.
“I am happy overall,” Cairoli said. “Because after yesterday I wasn’t sure about the start. There isn’t much different on this track and it is hard to gain time. I got two good starts, both in top ten, first moto even five even. I fought hard in that second moto and I could watch some good lines from the guys in front and took the overall. I was looking forward to this win on this track. It was a high rhythm and I was there, trying to see where I could gain some time. I saw Tim and I was doing different lines and I didn’t want to do it, but decided to push in this part and I could stay close and make the pass. It was unbelievable. I can’t go around in the city and it’s even worse than in Sicily when I do the Italian championship. I like it a lot, but it is hard to match. I can’t walk around much and I can’t watch the track a lot, but I like it, and it’s great to have such a feeling so far from home.”
As for Prado, his starts were never an issue as he once again was inside the top three out of the gate and didn’t waste time in hitting the lead in both races and running away with his 1-1 result.
“It was great to be back at the GP’s and it’s a long off season. I woke up and felt great and the starts were important. Twice first and first overall, and leading the championship again. Saturday I felt good. I don’t need to win everything to win the championship, Saturday I felt good, but Sunday I woke up and felt way better. I had good starts and my rhythm was good in both moto’s and I did what I had to do, consistent lap times and having fun until the end. It is a track that everybody likes probably, because everybody can go fast you know. It is tough to make a gap or difference on this track. It is kind of a strange track, wide open everywhere. I don’t say I don’t like it, because in one way I don’t, because it is so hard to make a difference between your rivals, but it is so fun to ride.”
Now onto Matterley Basin in a couple of weeks’ time, and once again, the same mind-set remains for both Cairoli and Prado, hopefully another KTM domination.
Photo Copyright: Ray Archer Author: Geoff Meyer