Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider down plays contact as a racing incident.
Defending MXGP world champion Antonio Cairoli has down played the incident between himself and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Jeffrey Herlings in the opening moto of the weekend’s grand prix at Matterley Basin.
Cairoli held off the youthful points leader until the dying stages of the race, where Herlings made an aggressive pass on the Italian, which resulted in Cairoli hitting the ground before rebounding for second.
The multi-time champion, who led 25 of the total 28 laps on Sunday, stated the contact was unexpected, however dismissed it as a racing incident.
“Today in both heats I managed to ride well,” said Cairoli. “Unfortunately the contact with Jeffrey in race one was unexpected but motocross is like this sometimes. In race two I tried to get away but in the end he caught and passed me.
“It’s a shame to lead 25 of the 28 laps without winning the grand prix but we must also say that the pace compared to the others is much higher and we have improved a lot compared to last year. We will not give up and will continue to attack next week in France.”
The number 222 is currently second in the standings, 54 points behind Herlings with just one overall victory to his name in the opening nine rounds.