Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle has opened the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Finals series with second position in the 250SMX Class at Charlotte's zMAX Dragway, as 450SMX Class challenger Aaron Plessinger finished sixth overall.
Finding comfort on the hybrid layout from the outset, dual MX2 World Champion Vialle posted the fifth-fastest qualifying time, setting him up for the pair of 20-minute plus one-lap motos. After a top 10 start in Moto 1, Vialle raced his way up through the field and would finish with a convincing P3 by race's end.
Powering his 250 SX-F to the second moto holeshot, Vialle led the field for the majority of the encounter, before claiming a P2 result, and sealing the runner-up result for the round. With his combined moto scorecard and regular season seeding position, Vialle sits P4 in the 250SMX standings, four points outside of the lead.
Tom Vialle: "I felt really good here in Charlotte, especially with this mixed track between supercross and motocross. There were sections where it was more supercross and others motocross, but overall, I was really happy with the circuit and my bike worked great in both conditions! I got a strong start in the second race and could really just focus on what I was doing – now I can’t wait for the next round in Chicago!"
Plessinger powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to the eighth-fastest qualifying time in Charlotte, as riders were faced with damp conditions to open the day in North Carolina. A top-five start in the first moto saw Plessinger battle hard toward the front of the pack, charging across the finish line for a fifth-place score.
A mid-field start in the second outing saw Plessinger have his work cut out for him, as the number seven made passes throughout the moto to finish in sixth place. That placed him sixth overall at SMX Playoff 1 and he retains third position in the championship with two rounds remaining in the finals.
Aaron Plessinger: "Charlotte was a wild one! The track turned into a really good race track – the split lane was interesting and, overall, I had a really good time today. We're still in good position, so really, I’m just going to go back and do work. We’ll keep working and set our sights on another good outing in Chicago.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Maximus Vohland began his Charlotte race day by slotting in behind his teammate Vialle in qualifying, recording the sixth-fastest time. Hampered by two poor starts in each moto, the Sacramento native finished with a hard fought 10-12 moto scorecard for 12th overall.
Maximus Vohland: "Really disappointed with my starts today. I put myself in bad situations out of the gate, which meant I had to come from behind in each race, which is never ideal. I'll go back to the drawing board this week and figure the starts out so we put ourselves in a better position for Chicago."
Next Race: September 16 – Joliet, Illinois
Results 450SMX Class – SMX Playoff 1
1. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 1-1
2. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, 3-3
3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA), Yamaha, 2-4
6. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 5-6
Results 250SMX Class – SMX Playoff 1
1. Jo Shimoda (JPN), Kawasaki, 4-1
2. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM, 3-2
3. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha, 1-5
12. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, 10-12
Standings 450SMX Class 2023 after 1 of 3 finals
1. Chase Sexton, 50 points
2. Jett Lawrence, 38
3. Aaron Plessinger, 38
Standings 250SMX Class 2023 after 1 of 3 finals
1. Jo Shimoda, 42 points
2. Haiden Deegan, 42
3. Hunter Lawrence, 39
4. Tom Vialle, 38
10. Maximus Vohland, 25