Cairoli and Everts - 50 Wins
By Geoff Meyer | 14 Aug 2012
With five times World Motocross Champion Antonio Cairoli winning his 50th Grand Prix last weekend in Loket, Czech Republic, I had to think back to 2001 when 10 times World Motocross Champion Stefan Everts picked up his 50th GP win at the Namur circuit in Belgium.
The difference between these two riders in character is huge. Everts was in his early years difficult and moody, while Cairoli has always been this happy, smiling kid from Sicily. While Everts learnt a lot about life in the later part of his career, he remained very focused and stuck to his strict system of living and sleeping Motocross, having a time to eat, a time to sleep and a time to train. It was as though his whole life depended on that structure, while Cairoli likes to spend his spare time fishing and lying on the beach. He rides the bike a lot, but has mentioned that he sometimes doesn't get out of bed until 11am in the morning, then spends the afternoon doing what he loves, and that is riding a motorcycle.
The way the two riders went about their 50th GP wins though was as different as water and fire. Everts always said one of his goals was to catch and pass the tally of Joel Robert, who had been the winningest GP rider in history up until Everts came along. Robert won his 50th GP in the 1970's and Everts was always mentioning how he wanted that tally. When he eventually did win it Robert was there to congratulate him, Everts also had an emotional experience as his uncle Pierre was dying of cancer, it would be Pierre's final visit to a GP and a special goodbye .
On the other side of the spectrum Cairoli often says he isn't chasing any numbers, he doesn't care if he has 50 GP wins or 49. He just wants as many points from every race or Grand Prix he attends and that is his goal. Passing riders like Roger De Coster, Joel Roberts, Eric Geboers and Georges Jobe meant everything to Everts, maybe because they were all Belgians and all heroes of a much younger Everts.
Cairoli did point out one of the best hurdles in his career was winning four World Motocross Championships and passing Alessio Chiodi as the most successful Italian in the history of the sport.
Both riders have built a huge fan following, and both have similar idea's about wearing fresh styled riding gear and both are media friendly. Probably two of the best from the last 20 years in giving the press and fans what they want.
Both also decided that America wasn't really in their plans and have instead picked up legendary status in Europe.
Whatever happens in the coming few years, you can be sure that Cairoli isn't looking ahead, he isn't watching the GP tally grow and the World Championship trophies fill his living room, instead he is just enjoying himself and giving it 100%.
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