News 23 Apr 2024

Will Vialle claim Supercross title in second season?

A massive swing in Nashville suddenly has Tom Vialle on the doorstep of a championship.

In just his second year racing Monster Energy Supercross, Tom Vialle is now rolling into the final two rounds of 250SX East with a clear path to the title. Now holding a 13-point lead in the championship over Haiden Deegan following Cameron McAdoo’s DNF, Vialle can win the title with two podium finishes to close out the season. A much-improved sophomore year in Supercross for the double World Motocross champion has culminated into quite the opportunity for the Red Bull KTM rider.

It all happened so fast. One minute, Vialle is stepping foot in the USA, having never really raced any supercross event in his life, and barely a year later he could be hoisting the trophy. So, what exactly changed from year one to year two? Well, Vialle showed striking improvement in the SuperMotocross Playoffs last September and began working closely with former 250SX champion Marvin Musquin in the offseason.

“I had a good winter. I was riding way better than last year, but my goal was to win a race and be way more consistent. Last year, being on the podium often, it turned out pretty good. This year, I’ve won two races and I’ve been on the podium each time since Dallas, so it’s been some really good races. I just feel good. Compared to last year, I was struggling a lot, especially in the whoops. I feel like this year I’m a little bit better. On the rest of the track, with my bike, I feel way better. Marvin actually helped me a lot. We worked in the winter together when I was in California for about a month, and he has been helping me a lot with my technique and setting up the bike. He’s coming to every race, and he’s kind of like me having the two titles in Europe and then moving to the U.S. It’s pretty cool to have Marvin with me.”

Image: Octopi Media.

At the midpoint of the 250SX East championship, Vialle was coming off back-to-back wins in Daytona and Birmingham and held the red plate over Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo by one point. McAdoo won the next round flipping the red plate back over to him and then finished second ahead of Vialle in third at the following round. Four points was all that separated them going into the seventh round in Nashville.

But then McAdoo crashed in qualifying and damaged his shoulder. Though McAdoo gave it his best effort in the main event, he simply wasn’t able to hold on and finish the race as he battled through the injury. As it was a 250SX East/West Showdown, Vialle found himself battling with several West riders that weren’t fighting for his championship. Knowing McAdoo’s situation, and that Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan was behind him, Vialle settled in for his fifth consecutive podium.

“I was pretty close to Cameron. I was only four points behind, so I kind of knew during the race that he wasn’t there,” said Vialle. “I kind of knew I was taking the lead, but it was kind of weird. I couldn’t see Haiden or Cameron. They were way back, so I was kind of riding alone. It was a weird race because I was racing other riders not in my championship, so you don’t really know if you have to push or not. But I didn’t see Haiden or Cameron, so I knew I was pretty good in the race.”

Image: Octopi Media.

With the gap now 13 points over Deegan and 16 points over McAdoo, Vialle has some wiggle room in the final two races. It’s even possible to clinch the title this weekend in Philadelphia, though it is somewhat of a longshot.

What this does do is potentially speed up Vialle’s career progression. It is possible Vialle was already slated to move up to the 450 class in 2026, but winning the title this year might make his impending promotion to the 450 class mandatory. The rules say you get four years of eligibility in the 250SX class if you are a 250SX champion, but it also says that you only get a maximum of three years total if you win the 250SX title twice. If Vialle does go on to win it this year and successfully win again in 2025, he’s out.

Image: Octopi Media.

In a rather quick evolution from supercross rookie to potential supercross champion, Vialle is just taking it all in stride and not getting too far ahead of himself. The title isn’t over yet, and he knows it.

“I’m trying to stay focused on my training,” said Vialle. “We have another race next weekend, so I’m going to ride supercross this week. I think we have a weekend off after so I may ride a little bit of outdoors. I’m close to the championship so I want to keep my focus on supercross until that’s done and then we will focus on outdoors later.”

Can Vialle become a 250SX champion in just his second season here? Time will tell, but it’s certainly looking good for the Frenchman.