Red Bull KTM news from the Grand Prix of Pietramurata:
- Vialle finishes 8th overall to become KTM’s ninth MX2 champion since 2004 & the third French title-holder for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- Vialle gives the KTM 250 SX-F a thirteenth crown & takes the factory’s haul of FIM titles to 312.
- Vialle: “I was almost crying on the last lap. There was so much emotion. It was really special. Crazy.”
- Tony Cairoli lodges his 14th top-three world championship finish in 17 seasons
The seventeenth round of eighteen in 2020 MXGP brought the series back into action around the narrow hardpack of Pietramurata in northern Italy. The Grand Prix was the second of the latest triple header on the schedule and took place in bright and mild conditions.
Tony Cairoli – Winner of the Grand Prix here last Sunday, Cairoli made a promising launch towards a repeat result by circulating in a comfortable 2nd place early in the first moto. The Sicilian then lost control exiting a rut and on the approach to a small jump. The crash meant he dropped to 6th place and finished there. In the second race #222 flew to another holeshot but the red flags came out after a second corner incident. Upon the restart Cairoli was in the top five and classified 5th for 5th overall. He now leads Jeremy Seewer by 4 points in the dispute for 2nd in the championship.
Tony Cairoli: “Physically it was a bit tricky today. In the first moto I made a good start and was riding smooth until I made that mistake. That wasn’t good from me and especially finishing 6th because [Jeremy] Seewer was in front. I started well again in the second moto but then we had to restart. I was fourth at the third start and [Clement] Desalle passed me. I was wary of the track being very slick. I wasn’t ready to attack and so settled for 5th. The goal now is to stay in front of Seewer at the last round and take 2nd in the championship.”
Tom Vialle – The MX2 World Championship leader had to battle some adversity after Timed Practice when he was penalized for apparently stopping on the track and was relegated to last position in the start gate. The limitation did not stop Vialle from using the KTM 250 SX-F’s power to roar into the lead by the second corner of the first moto. From that point Vialle quickly constructed a margin of five seconds and ran away to his 13th race win of the season and from 33 motos. The success confirmed his championship. In the second sprint – with the KTM 250 SX-F wearing a new dedicatory gold livery as well as the #1 plate – Vialle suffered a blow on the opening lap when contact with another rider bent his gearshifter under the bike and required a stop in the pitlane for a replacement. He rejoined the moto far behind the pack and could only reach 23rd.
In his title campaign Vialle has won 7 of 17 Grands Prix and recorded 13 podium finishes. He has led almost double the number of laps compared to his closest pursuer in what is only his second season in the FIM World Championship.
Tom Vialle: “I’m so happy but there have been a lot of emotions today. I was a bit angry with the verdict this morning but to make the holeshot and lead the first moto was fantastic. I was almost crying on the last lap. There was so much emotion. It was really special. Crazy. In the second moto I was around sixth position and someone hit me and bent the gear shifter under the bike. I was stuck in second gear. I tried hard to get the bike into third but it was not possible, so I had to come into the pits. I still finished the moto. It was a bit of a shame because I was feeling so good today. Sometimes bad luck happens though. The important thing is that we achieved our goal. I want to say a big thanks to the whole team and everybody who worked together to make this happen. It was tiring to have a lot of races so close together and also keep the concentration through the training. I think we did it pretty good.”
Dirk Gruebel, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “Tom showed his potential in his first year with us in 2019. There was real progression but then over the winter he made another big step to be a title contender and world champion. He didn’t look back. He doesn’t get nervous. He had real competition, but Tom finished every race in a good spot, mainly in the top five, mostly in the top three. That’s the key to being world champion and now we are here celebrating. Hats-off to him and the family, unbelievable. We are known for having a fast 250 – also a 450! – but I still think we have the benchmark in MX2 for everybody and Tom is another rider who knows how to make starts with it. It’s a really good motorcycle and we’ve been winning since 2004 with that concept. Tom being the ninth world champion shows its quality.”
Robert Jonas, KTM Vice President Motorsports Offroad: “It’s been fantastic to see Tom grow with the team over the past two years and ultimately win the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship; his maturity and approach to what has been a season of challenges with a lot of uncertainty has really paid off. Despite the natural pressure he had personally to step up again after his results last year, Tom has kept calm to make it happen week by week and our KTM 250 SX-F is proven once again. I wish Tom and his family huge congratulations for this incredible achievement, as we share this special moment together. I would like to congratulate Joel, Dirk and the entire Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team for their fantastic work with Tom to help nurture his talent and unlock his potential. To take a victory is never easy at this level, and we know 2020 has been a big challenge for everyone with a different type of intensity – but we are proud to have come through and to be celebrating this championship win.”
The Grand Prix of Garda Trentino on Sunday 8th November will be the final race at Pietramurata and also the last event of the season.