Tom Vialle wins 2022 MX2 World Championshipby Jack Gaffney September 4, 2022 0 comments
Tom Vialle is of course set to join the likes of Ken Roczen, Dylan Ferrandis, and Marvin Musquin as those who jumped to the AMA circuit from MXGP. However, before the French Red Bull KTM rider makes the trek to the United States, he had an MX2 Championship to settle in Turkey. Winding the clocks back to Finland, Vialle was down 24 points to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Jago Geerts. Going into today in Turkey, that gap was nearly nothing, just two points between the two.
Much like Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton yesterday, a 1-1 would win this MX2 title either way. Vialle, like Tomac, qualified fastest with his race win on Saturday. Then like the new 450 AMA Champion, pulled off a 1-1 to secure MX2 Championship No. 2. In addition, this was Vialle’s 24th career MX2 Grand Prix win, tying him with Antonio Cairoli for seventh most in the class.
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Nearly Throwing it Away
Although Vialle won the second Moto in Turkey by over five seconds, he would have lost the race and Championship if not for a stroke of luck. A little passed the halfway mark, Vialle went down on his own on corner exit late in a lap. It just so happened that Geerts was in the middle of a charge and was right on his rear wheel. With nowhere to go, Geerts went right into the No. 28 Red Bull KTM and ended up the loser in this situation. Vialle, getting up far sooner, pulled out to a dozen-second lead, which more or less ended things. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and luckily (pun intended) for Vialle, he was both today.
Expectations in the States
Skipping out of the Motocross Des Nations to get a head start on Supercross prep, Vialle may be making a smart long-term play. Granted, the European transplant riders have consistently been very good at Supercross over the last decade. It’s unclear if Vialle is going to be with trainer Aldon Baker at this time, but if he is that will be a big advantage to the Frenchman. If the two can mesh unlike Baker and Roczen, Vialle has the opportunity to get even better.
Now, what are some realistic expectations for Vialle in 2023? Starting with Motocross, he should almost certainly be a Championship contender. Although Jett Lawrence will be on a 450, guys like Jo Shimoda, Hunter Lawrence, and R.J. Hampshire should give him a good fight. Now for Supercross, I wanted to look back at some other MXGP turned AMA riders to get an idea. As Supercross rookies, Roczen and Ferrandis both ended up finishing fifth in the points, and Musquin ended up in third meanwhile. If all goes well with Vialle, a top five points finish as a rookie shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
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