Tom Vialle classified 1st in the MX2 Grand Prix of Portugal with his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 250 SX-F as the FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship moved back to European soil for round four of twenty.
MXGP travelled across the continents and returned to Europe after the long trip to Argentina for round three. Tom Vialle had seized his first victory of the season at Neuquen and embarked on his just second attempt at the distinctive orange dirt of Agueda, Portugal with the KTM 250 SX-F while chasing more silverware. Vialle finished 7th overall at the last running of the Grand Prix in 2019 – the last time MXGP was able to visit Portugal.
On Saturday Vialle recovered from a fall while pushing with the leaders in the qualification heat held in dry, sunny but cold conditions. Taking 13th in the gate for Sunday the 21-year-old was able to rely on his customary excellent speed away from the line to move quickly into the lead once title rival Jago Geerts had crashed. Vialle rode to the flag ahead of Mikkel Haarup. Tom’s proactivity to shift from the depths of the top ten in the opening corners to slide into 2nd helped build a platform for #28 to then use half of the second moto to catch Kevin Horgmo and take the lead. Geerts eventually powered ahead but VIalle’s 1-2 for the day was enough for his second win on the bounce.
Vialle is now 2nd in the championship standings and only 16 points behind Geerts.
A blameless crash in Argentina meant that DIGA Procross KTM’s Thomas Kjer Olsen had to sit out the Grand Prix of Portugal with a hand injury. The Dane is working to be back on the KTM 450 SX-F as soon as possible.
MXGP turns to northern Italy this week and to the staple world championship venue of Pietramurata in Arco di Trento for the Grand Prix of Trentino.
Tom Vialle, 2nd and 1st for 1st overall in MX2: “I had a difficult Saturday and I was far out for the start so I’m happy to win here. I had two ‘OK’ starts and the races were a bit of a mix. Jago was pretty fast and I didn’t have the best lines so I was keeping it easy and safe in second during the second moto. I didn’t push too hard. A second GP win is really good this early in the season and decent points for the championship. I didn’t expect this today.”
Results MX2 Portugal 2022
1. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 1-2
2. Mikkel Haarup (DEN) Kawasaki, 2-4
3. Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 9-1
4. Kay de Wolf (NED), Husqvarna, 3-6
5. Kevin Horgmo (NOR), Kawasaki, 8-3
Standings MX2 2022 after 4 of 20 rounds
1. Jago Geerts 174 points
2. Tom Vialle, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 158
3. Mikkel Haarup 132
4. Simon Laengenfelder 130
5. Andrea Adamo 115