At Southwick, two-time world MX2 (250) Champion Tom Vialle not only won his first AMA moto, but he also took his first overall win in the States. It may be a surprise to some but not to those that closely follow the sport. Vialle has been gradually learning the AMA system, as well as the tracks. Typically, Tom has always done better with the second moto – after learning from moto one. However, at Southwick, two great moto starts saw him win moto one and finish third in moto two. This has been Red Bull KTM’s first 250 outdoor win in quite some time, and I have no doubt there will be a celebration. With the 250 championship points tightening up at the series midpoint, can Tom Vialle challenge for the title? We tracked down Tom after his win.



TOM, HOW WAS YOUR WIN AT SOUTHWICK? Yes, it was so much fun here. This win means a lot to me. I felt very comfortable on the track, and my bike was great. Now, I hope to get more wins in the future. 

YOU LOOKED LIKE A WIN WAS CAPABLE AT RED BUD. The first moto began not so bad. I was in fourth, and I had a collision with another rider, so I crashed. I was a little far back, and I think I was fifth or sixth, and then I had another crash with five laps to go or something, and I ended up ninth. Of course, not the moto I had hoped for. The second moto was way better. I was third, and I passed Haiden Deegan with two laps to go, so it was a good moto. It was just the way I was always riding in the GP’s, so that is the way I know to ride, so I was happy to have the sensation back.

Tom Vialle took his first moto win this weekend at the Southwick National.

DID YOU LIKE SOUTHWICK? The track was nice. Maybe a bit more similar or familiar to some of the tracks I raced on previously in the GP’s. As I said, I felt very comfortable, maybe more so than with previous tracks. It may be considered a sand track, but in no way is it Lommel.

MANY CONSIDER THE PREVIOUS TRACK RED BUD, THE BEST AMERICA HAS TO OFFER. The track is huge and is a nice track. The LaRocco Leap is one of the biggest jumps I have jumped in my life. It is a nice track, and the fans are amazing. You can hear them all around the track. It is fun and really a nice track. It was a nice experience, for sure.

Tom rocketing out of the gate for a holeshot in moto two. This would ultimately be the deciding factor of his overall win.

SINCE RED BUD HAS HOSTED A COUPLE OF MXON EVENTS, WAS IT SIMILAR TO GP STYLE? No, the track is way different. We have any track like this in GPs. You have to get a little bit used to it. The track is way wider and like ten ruts in every corner. We really don’t have this in Europe. I am getting used to it a little bit each race, and I feel like I am on a good move right now. Hopefully, we can make it better each weekend and fight for another win for sure. 

I WAS WATCHING YOU AND YOUR TEAMMATE, MAXIMUS VOHLAND, AND YOU HAVE VERY DIFFERENT RIDING STYLES. YOU SEEM TO RIDE IN A HIGHER GEAR. For sure, we do not ride the same way. It is just two different styles, I think. We have different engines. He does not have the same sprocket and engine as me, so that is maybe the bike has something you can hear differently.  

Similar but not the same. Tom talks about how the US tracks compare to the MXGP tracks he has been conditioned to. They have similarities but, overall, a much different experience, proving how Tom can adapt to these changes.

DO YOU FEEL MOVING EASTWARD IS HELPING? Yes, it was hot and humid at Red Bud and at Southwick. We are used to training in these conditions. I need to continue improving on my first moto rides, like at Southwick. I have always been good in the second motos. I need to improve the first moto to be on the podium and fight for victory.

WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE RARE WEEKEND OFF AFTER HIGH POINT? We took some time off and tried to do some testing on the bike and improve for Red Bud. We made some improvements, and my second proved that, and then the overall win at Southwick also confirmed things.

Victory is sweet, Tom soaking up the moment with some American fans.

ARE YOU STARTING TO FEEL PRETTY GOOD NOW LIVING IN FLORIDA? So far, I am getting used to it. It is way different than what I am used to in Europe. I am getting used to it, and I really like it.

MAYBE ONE LAST QUESTION, ARE YOU WATCHING THE GP’S AND WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MX2? Sure. I am always watching the GPs, and it is tight now in MX2, so there are a lot of guys that can be champions, so we will continue to watch and see who is going to be the World Champion.



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