Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will go to the eighteenth and final round of 2022 MXGP with a strong chance of another MX2 title after Tom Vialle scored his ninth victory of the season at St Jean D’Angely and the penultimate date of the current campaign.
MXGP landed in France for the second time in 2022 and upon the still hillside ‘amphitheatre’ setting of the St Jean D’Angely circuit near the western coastline. The popular Grand Prix site and former Motocross of Nations venue was the scene for the ‘Charente Maritime’ round of the series and provided the usual hard-pack, rutty and slick challenge for the MXGP and MX2 participants.
Tom Vialle faced his second home event with a slim 15-point deficit to Jago Geerts at the top of a tense MX2 championship tussle. He secured his first Pole Position since the Indonesia GP in Saturday’s Qualification Heat to raise expectations further. Sunday was warm and cloudy and with a busy attendance.
In the first moto Vialle was part of a tense three-rider contest that was won by Thibault Benistant and with Geerts in 3rd as the KTM man claimed runner-up status. Only four seconds covered the trio as the gap fluctuated between them and they tried to avoid costly mistakes. In the second race Vialle had an easier route to the checkered flag: the win represented his 15th moto win from 34 in 2022 and led to his 23rd career victory since 2019.
DIGA Procross KTM’s Liam Everts rode well to post his second successive top five finish thanks to results of 7th and 6th in the motos.
2022 MXGP closes with the Grand Prix of Turkey at Afyon. Vialle has the chance to add to his 2020 world title in what will be his last MX2 world championship outing with the KTM 250 SX-F before he transfers to the American wing of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing for 2023. Only 50 points are left in play. The Turkish finale will occur in two weeks, on September 3-4.
Tom Vialle, 2nd and 1st for 1st overall in MX2: “It was a good day! The fans were incredible; I could hear them everywhere they pushed me so much. Thanks a lot to the whole team for all their work. We got the job done today and we have one race left to go. We know what we need to do in Turkey.”
Results MX2 Charente Maritime 2022
1. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 2-1
2. Thibault Benistant (FRA), Yamaha, 1-2
3. Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 3-7
4. Tom Guyon (FRA), KTM, 9-3
5. Liam Everts (BEL), KTM, 7-6
Standings MX2 2022 after 17 of 18 rounds
1. Jago Geerts, 710 points
2. Tom Vialle, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 708
3. Simon Laengenfelder, 564
4. Kevin Horgmo, 503
5. Thibault Benistant, 481