Motocross

Motocross Icon Tony Cairoli Shifts Gears from KTM to Ducati

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Photo of Ducati's motocross manager Tony Cairoli
From Orange to Red. Tony Cairoli is headed off to head Ducati’s new motocross program after a career with KTM. Photo: Ray Archer

In a surprising turn of events, Tony Cairoli has bid farewell to his enduring partnership with KTM, marking the end of a prosperous collaboration set to culminate in 2024.

The unforeseen twist in this narrative unfolds as Cairoli embarks on a new chapter with Ducati, a move that has taken the motocross world by surprise.

While specific details of this venture remain shrouded in secrecy, industry insiders suggest that Ducati is allocating substantial resources to research and development, with the aim of crafting a formidable motocross machine. Cairoli’s involvement is poised to be instrumental in providing invaluable insights and feedback to the Ducati engineering team, ensuring the bike’s precision alignment with the rigorous demands of professional motocross competition.

Tony Cairoli, celebrated for his collection of World Championships and revered as one of the sport’s all-time luminaries, now finds himself at the threshold of an exciting new phase in his professional journey. His alliance with Ducati serves as a testament to the Italian marque’s resolute commitment to leave a substantial mark on the motocross stage.

Cairoli’s partnership with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing was forged late in 2009, immediately bearing fruit with an MX1 (now known as ‘MXGP’) title in the 2010 season. He went on to clinch four consecutive titles, further solidifying his legacy. The apex of his tenure with KTM was achieved in 2017 when he captured the championship. Over the span of twelve years, Cairoli evolved into a beloved ambassador for the team, the company, and the sport, culminating in his Grand Prix racing retirement at the end of 2021.

In 2023, Tony transitioned into a Team Manager role with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, but now he has charted a pivotal new course for his post-racing career.

Ducati’s entry into motocross represents a strategic expansion of its motorsport portfolio. While the brand has garnered notable triumphs on the asphalt, its foray into motocross ushers in fresh challenges and prospects. With Cairoli’s wealth of experience, Ducati seeks to leverage his profound insights and skills to expedite the triumph of its motocross program.

The motocross community is on tenterhooks, eagerly awaiting the convergence of Ducati’s engineering expertise with Cairoli’s unparalleled skills.

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