de Carli Racing switches to GasGas for MXGPby Jack Gaffney December 15, 2021 1 comment
With the retirement of European Motocross icon Antonio Cairoli, 2021 was the end of an era for the de Carli Red Bull KTM team. Cairoli had been with the team all the way back when they used Yamahas in the 2000s. With the nine-time World Champion gone, the team is making another manufacturer switch for the 2022 MXGP season. Although it is not drastic, the de Carli Racing team will now serve as the Red Bull GasGas Factory squad.
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On the Gas(Gas)
Since the KTM Group bought the Spanish brand, they have spent a good amount of resources in setting a solid base for them in both the United States and in Europe. The big reason that this should not be a drastic change is that the KTM and GasGas bikes are similar. Outside of some things, the two bikes are very similar in terms of design and what components are used. The notable three are WP Suspension, Akrapovič Exhaust, and Pirelli Tires (Dunlop Tires for AMA counterparts). Also, the team will still run Thor gear, along with Airoh helmets.
As for the lineup, Red Bull GasGas is looking impressive for the 2022 MXGP tilt. Jorge Prado is coming off an impressive year, scoring fifth in the points, in addition to one Grand Prix win and three Moto wins. Now he rides for the manufacturer that was started in his home country of Spain in 1985. If Prado can start to put together full motos more often, 2022 could be a monster year for the Spaniard.
The pair of MX2 riders for the team are no slouches themselves either. Firstly is Mattia Guadagnini, another holdover from the Red Bull KTM team. The Italian was leading the MX2 points race for a stretch early in the season but cooled off. Despite that, Guadagnini still finished top four in the points, in what was only his second full season in MX2. The new face to the team here is Simon Laegenfelder, formerly of Diga GasGas Factory Racing. In his second MX2 season, the German rider placed 10th in points. Like Guadagnini with Italy, Laegenfelder got the opportunity to represent his country in this year’s Motocross Des Nations. He ended up finishing eighth among MX2 class riders.
The Boss Man
Team head Claudio de Carli has run one of the top teams on the FIM Motorcross scene for quite some time. Now he is fielding his third different manufacturer in 13 years. As for the switch, here is what de Carli had to say in the official press release.
“It is an exciting step and a big honor to be leading GasGas in MXGP next season. With the riders that we have, Jorge, Mattia, and Simon, I strongly believe that we can challenge for both the MXGP and MX2 World Championship titles in 2022. There are just over two months to go before round one in February and we are already ahead of schedule to be ready for the opening round in the UK. We have three really talented riders and from a technical point of view, I know we have the best bikes out there. It’s the start of a new chapter and the team can’t wait to begin the new season with an all-new look.”
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Main Image via GasGas.com