Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammates Aaron Plessinger and Tom Vialle both claimed third-place results to conclude the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on the podium at today's Ironman National, with fan favorite Plessinger also finishing P3 in the final 450MX standings.
Plessinger qualified in sixth place at the 11th and final round of the season, before powering his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to two strong starts across the two-moto format, battling for the race lead early on in both motos. After spirited rides in each race, the Ohio native finished with 5-3 moto results, securing third place overall for the day.
A strong season highlighted by three round podiums sees Plessinger finish the 450MX series in third position, with the number 7 having to overcome moments of adversity throughout the year to eventually earn a career-high result in the premier 450 Class.
With his combined results across both the 2023 AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross championships, Plessinger enters the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Finals series as the second seed in the 450 division, with the first of three events to take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway's zMAX Dragway on Saturday, September 9.
Aaron Plessinger: "I’m pumped to finish this season’s outdoor championship on the box! We experienced a few ups and downs this year, which is all part of racing, although continued to fight and ended up with P3 overall in the championship. My first motos remained the difficult part of the day, which was the same deal today, although we rebounded well in moto two for third place. Onto the SMX playoffs now, I’m stoked and intrigued to see what the tracks will be like, and excited to take the sport to all-new venues also."
In 250MX, dual MX2 World Champion Vialle capped off a successful debut season in AMA Pro Motocross, beginning the Ironman National by setting the seventh-fastest qualifying time onboard his KTM 250 SX-F. A solid start resulted in a third-place finish in the opening moto, before having to charge through the field for P4 in the second moto and taking third overall for the final round.
Vialle showed immense speed throughout his maiden campaign on U.S. soil, which culminated in an overall win at Round 6 of the season in the sands of Southwick. Posting a string of consistent finishes, the Frenchman was ranked sixth place overall in the final season standings.
Tom Vialle: "I really didn't know what to expect this year, to be honest, racing my first season of Pro Motocross. Learning how these guys race, learning the tracks at every round for the first time, and then how to set the bike up over here too. Racing Supercross in the winter and motocross through the summer, this was all new to me, so I am very happy to finish my season here at Ironman with a podium, also to get the win in Southwick, and to come out of my first full season in America healthy."
250MX teammate Maximus Vohland shadowed Vialle in qualifying by posting the eighth-fastest time, before two calculated rides saw the Californian achieve an 8-8 moto scorecard, which earned him P8 overall for the round. In what marked a consistent season, Vohland ended the series in seventh place overall.
Maximus Vohland: "It was a tough weekend here in Ironman. I had to fight back to eighth in moto one after going down in the opening lap carnage, then in the second moto I really charged hard, was in sixth, and then an off-track excursion cost me a couple of places. Seventh overall for the championship, I would've liked for more, although I was happy with the improvements I made this year and now we'll come back for the SMX playoffs next up."
With their performances across both the AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross championships, Vialle and Vohland enter the SMX Finals P6 and P7, respectively in the 250 category.
The Ironman National marked another invaluable learning experience for 250MX Class newcomer Julien Beaumer, who qualified in 12th position, before racing to 15th in the first moto after being caught up in an opening lap crash. A top-five start in moto two saw the teenager on-pace with the front-runners, before an untimely fall resulted in an early retirement from the race.
Julien Beaumer: "The weekend here at Ironman was decent for me. I qualified in 12th place and felt pretty good, before I got caught up in the opening lap pile-up in moto one, so I had to come back through the field, which I did before I went down again. I recovered to 15th and then in moto two, I got a great start, ran fourth and then dropped to seventh, where I was comfortable. Then I ended up having a crash, which took me out, but all-in-all I learned a lot these last two nationals, especially around the intensity these guys carry, and I’ll take these lessons into next year’s Supercross season. I’ve got a great team behind me, who have my back at all times, so I’m excited for the future."
Next Race: September 9 – Concord, North Carolina (SuperMotocross Playoff 1)
Results 450MX Class – Ironman National
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-1
2. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 2-2
3. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 5-3
14. Jess Pettis (CAN), KTM
21. Max Miller (USA), KTM
26. Kevin Moranz (USA), KTM
31. Crockett Myers (USA), KTM
34. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN), KTM
Results 250MX Class – Ironman National
1. Jo Shimoda (JPN), Kawasaki, 1-1
2. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha, 2-3
3. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM, 3-4
8. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, 8-8
18. Derek Kelley (USA), KTM
20. Josh Varize (USA), KTM
21. Julien Beaumer (USA), KTM, 15-DNF
25. Slade Smith (RSA), KTM
28. Cameron Durow (RSA), KTM
29. Matti Jorgensen (USA), KTM
30. Hunter Cross (USA), KTM
31. Brock Bennett (USA), KTM
32. Marcus Phelps (USA), KTM
33. Leo Tucker (USA), KTM
34. Gerhard Matamoros (GRE), KTM
35. Jesse Jacobsen (USA), KTM
Standings 450MX Class 2023 after 11 of 11 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 550 points
2. Dylan Ferrandis, 399
3. Aaron Plessinger, 386
12. Cooper Webb, 147
31. Max Miller, 26
40. Dante Oliveira, 15
42. Christopher Prebula, 12
43. Tyler Stepek, 11
44. Jess Pettis, 11
47. Brandon Scharer, 7
48. Kevin Moranz, 7
52. Trevor Schmidt, 4
69. Jeffrey Walker, 1
71. Anthony Rodriguez, 1
Standings 250MX Class 2023 after 11 of 11 rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence, 419 points
2. Justin Cooper, 399
3. Jo Shimoda, 393
6. Tom Vialle, 306
7. Maximus Vohland, 295
24. Derek Kelley, 46
25. Josh Varize, 34
27. Slade Smith, 28
28. Julien Beaumer, 28
36. Jimmy Decotis, 13
37. Brock Bennett, 12
40. Matti Jorgensen, 7
41. Lux Turner, 7
44. Preston Boespflug, 4
46. Marcus Phelps, 2