Tony Cairoli and KTM are splitting up. The news was made official with a statement explaining that the champion from Sicily and the Austrian constructor will be taking different paths at the end of 2023. Cairoli had started with KTM in 2010, winning the title the same season in the MX1 (current MXGP), and repeating it during the following four. He had then won another championship in 2017 and, when he decided to retire from competitions in 2021, he remained tied to the company as an ambassador. This year, however, he was team manager in the official team.
Tony’s farewell to KTM after 14 years is an indirect confirmation of the rumors of his involvement in Ducati’s new off-road project. The Borgo Panigale constructor is about to make their off-road debut, and Cairoli is the best man to have at their side in this adventure.
Increasingly insistent voices claim that the 9-time world champion has been offered a key role in the project, and his experience would be invaluable. Cairoli could be the factory team’s new team manager, and he could also be the test rider for the new Ducati off-road, along with Antoine Meo and Alessandro Lupino. Tony’s farewell to KTM is the first sign, now we’ll have to wait for a confirmation from Borgo Panigale.