News 20 Mar 2024

Momentum swings shaping 250SX East title fight

Three riders down in the opening turn of season have won all four races since.

Cameron McAdoo, Tom Vialle, and Haiden Deegan were all down in the first turn at the opening round of the 250SX East Championship in Detroit last month. Since then, the three of them have won each of the four races ran since with McAdoo’s recent Indianapolis victory vaulting him into the points lead. In a relatively short time, these three, along with the ever-consistent Pierce Brown, have established themselves as the championship front runners heading into the final four races.

Image: Octopi Media.

The dynamic of this title fight seems to shift every single weekend with only Red Bull KTM’s Vialle able to string back-to-back wins together thus far. It seems so long ago already that Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner won that opening round in Detroit before suffering a season-ending crash the following round in Arlington. Haiden Deegan benefitted from Forkner’s misfortune in Texas to claim his first career 250SX win.

A week later in Daytona, it was time for Tom Vialle’s shining moment as the two-time MX2 World Champion picked up his first career 250SX victory. What felt at the time like a right time-right place victory for Vialle on the outdoor-style Daytona track turned out to be a sign of Vialle’s noticeable turnaround in his sophomore year of supercross when he backed it up the following week with a win in Birmingham. Max Anstie had led the points at Daytona and Birmingham thanks to 2-6-8 results, but a DNF at Birmingham essentially put an end to his title bid.

Image: Octopi Media.

While Deegan and Vialle were sharing wins, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo and Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas rider Pierce Brown were collecting consistent results. Despite McAdoo’s 15th at the opener, he finished second in each of the next three races heading into his breakthrough victory at Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Brown started the year with three straight fifth place finishes before going one better at Birmingham and Indianapolis. Now Brown has seen his 5-5-5-4-4 results land him just 11-points back of this championship with four rounds to go.

Four rounds now remain in the championship with a three week break currently gracing the riders following Indianapolis. McAdoo led home a podium including himself, Vialle, and Deegan at Indianapolis, and McAdoo himself believes that is where the title battle will ultimately come from.

“By now we’re at round five and it’s pretty clear that us three are going to fight for it,” McAdoo said following his win. “Especially with the way the first and second main went, we kind of separated fairly decently.”

Image: Octopi Media.

Amazingly, Brown still ended up fourth overall despite starting the night with a 12th place finish in the opening 250SX race at Indianapolis. His 12-4-2 scores on the night looked a far cry from his consistent results on the season, but the trend throughout the night suggested that his speed may not be as far off from the front runners as McAdoo suggests.

Either way, these four riders will have to settle it in the final four rounds, of which two of the rounds are Showdowns between the 250SX East and West competitors. Four different riders have had the championship lead through five rounds of this series and it seems likely the red plate will change hands at least once more before the trophy is raised at Salt Lake City.