Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle shot to victory at Intu Xanadu this weekend for round nine of the FIM World Motocross Championship in Spain this weekend.
In the first MX2 race of the weekend, it was Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Rick Elzinga who took the Fox Holeshot from the far outside gate. Though Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts was quick to get himself into the lead. Mike Gwerder of WZ Racing Team also started well as he was right there in the mix with the leaders before dropping to fourth and the further down the order.
By the end of the opening lap, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle was already up to second, as Diga Procross KTM Racing’s Liam Everts went off track and into the banners. He got going again in 23rd.
Moments later, Geerts had a big crash, which was a gift to Vialle who moved into the lead. F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Kevin Horgmo then fought his way up to second after getting by Elzinga, but he had to work for it, as the Dutchman was not backing down easily.
Geerts got going again in 21st, as Team Ship to Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz rider Stephen Rubini got by Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee’s Isak Gifting for fourth, as Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Simon Längenfelder was looking to do the same.
Horgmo then crashed as did Gifting, twice, which allowed Längenfelder into third by the eighth lap, as Rubini moved up to second.
Further down the field, Everts was making a stellar come back after crashing on the opening lap. He passed Spain’s David Braceras to move up to eighth, and the made some more impressive moves to eventually climb up to sixth.
Horgmo looked to fight back after the mishap of lap seven as he caught back onto the rear wheel of Elzinga and passed him in the same place as he did in the beginning of the race. This got him up to fourth. Meanwhile Geerts was up to 12th.
On lap 10, Rubini got passed by Längenfelder who was already too far behind the race leader to be able to challenge for the win and in the end Vialle won the race by 14.280 seconds. Rubini held on to third ahead of Horgmo and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant who fought his way from outside of the points to fifth.
In the second race, the Fox Holeshot went to Everts, but again, Geerts was fast to make a move into the lead, with Vialle third, Jorgen-Mathias Talviku of Sahkar Racing fourth, ahead of Längenfelder and Horgmo.
Vialle got a good run as he tried to pass Everts, though the Belgian didn’t make it easy and forced Vialle to work for it for almost three laps. In the end by the third lap, Vialle was in second.
Benistant had another unlucky start to the race, though despite being down in 20th in the early stages of the race, he set the fastest lap of the race. Down the order was also Horgmo who struggled in the first few laps to make any big passes.
Guillem Farres of Rath’s Motorsports was running well in sixth after passing Talviku and then continued to challenge inside the top 10 until the end of the race.
Back with the leaders, Everts found himself coming under fire from Längenfelder for third. The German pushed hard, and a couple of small mistakes almost saw him crash, though he held on and continued his fight with Everts. The pair battled for a few laps before Längenfelder moved into third on the sixth lap.
Geerts was looking good in the lead for six laps too, before crashing once again. This allowed Vialle to take over control of the race, but the Belgian got up quickly and was able to remain in second.
In the closing stages of the race, we saw Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup going after Everts for fourth. But again, the Belgian put up a strong fight and managed to keep hold of the position until the chequered flag.
Vialle went on to win the race with a 10.923 advantage over Geerts, while Längenfelder crossed the finish line third ahead of Everts and Haarup.A perfect 1-1 scorecard gave Vialle his fifth GP win of the season, with Längenfelder finally getting back on the box for second overall ahead of Geerts who finished third.
After a tough first race, Geerts lost valuable championship points which has allowed Vialle to take the red plate as we head into the Monster Energy MXGP of France next weekend. Vialle now leads by 10 points. Längenfelder remains third.
“Was definitely a great weekend for me.” said Vialle. “In the first race, Jago had a massive crash, kind of the same as me in Mantova which was quite scary so I’m glad he’s ok.”
“But I just controlled the race and had quite a gap on Simon, something like 15 seconds, so I just controlled the race. In the second race, Jago had a small crash and I could pass for the lead. I felt really good on the track and also on the bike. It was a great weekend before the French GP and I’m really looking forward to that as I think it’s going to be nice race for me”.