Nine-time world champion Antonio Cairoli (35) stops at the end of th...

Italian motocross rider Antonio Cairoli will end his career at the end of 2021. He made this known on Tuesday evening at a press conference in Rome.

Cairoli, almost 36, became world champion nine times in total. In 2005 and 2007 he took the title in MX2. After that he was the best in MX1/MXGP, the premier class of the World Motocross World Championship, seven times: from 2009 to 2014 and a last time in 2017. Cairoli won his first three world titles with Yamaha, then with KTM. Only Stefan Everts (ten world titles) does better.

“This will be my last season as a professional motocross rider. It’s a very difficult decision because I’m still at the top,” said Cairoli, who has already won 93 Grand Prix (including one this season) and was on the podium 177 times. “But I think the time is right. Sometimes you don’t feel the fire burning anymore in certain situations. When that happens, you better stop because I’m not interested in tenth place or anything. So it’s better to take the plunge and I did.”

In the current World Cup, Cairolo is third behind Slovenian world champion Tim Gajser and Frenchman Romain Fèbvre after nine GPs. This weekend, the Italian can perform for his own people in Sardinia.

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