News 23 Oct 2023

MXGP legend Cairoli and KTM to split ahead of 2024 season

Italian linked to Ducati's yet to be confirmed motocross program.

Image: Supplied.

Nine-time world champion Tony Cairoli and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will split ahead of the 2024 MXGP season, the Italian legend widely linked to Ducati’s pending arrival in the sport.

KTM revealed the news today in a brief statement, highlighting their immense achievements with the now-retired 38-year-old, who first joined the Austrian brand leading into 2010.

“A long, fruitful collaboration comes to an end this year as KTM and Tony Cairoli will separate to pursue new professional goals for 2024,” the announcement press release read.

“The Sicilian joined Red Bull KTM Factory Racing late in 2009 and made an immediate impact in his first season in 2010, winning the MX1 (now MXGP) title with the KTM 350 SX-F and then added a further four crowns consecutively.

“He then claimed the 2017 championship with the KTM 450 SX-F and has been a popular ambassador for the squad, the company and the sport for 12 years and to his grand prix retirement at the end of 2021. Tony transitioned into a team manager role for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for 2023 and has now decided to take his post-racing career in a different direction.

“KTM and everyone at the Pierer Mobility Group wish to thank Tony for his energy and his excellence and for the unforgettable motocross memories.”

Cairoli’s future appears to firmly lay at Ducati Corse as part of its factory development program, the brand understood to be building a 450 class dirt bike in a bid to enter both the MXGP World Championship and AMA Supercross Championship – at the least – in the coming seasons.