Tom Vialle made it through Monster Energy AMA Supercross in his debut season of racing in the U.S. That feat alone is not easy, and despite some bumps and bruises along the way, Vialle rode home an eighth place in the 250SX East Region Championship. Up next, the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Vialle, a two-time MX2 champion in the FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP), was expected to turn heads and contest for podiums and race wins in the sport he is more familiar with. At the first two rounds of the 2023 Pro Motocross season, Vialle finished 7-3 for fourth overall. Both races he had the same settings in the second motos, so heading into the Thunder Valley National this weekend, he is anticipating putting together two strong motos in the same day. After the race, our Kellen Brauer caught up to Vialle at the media scrum. Here is what the #128 had to say.
Racer X: All right, Tom Vialle, fourth overall, a better second moto for you again this week, just sort of take me through your day.
Tom Vialle: Same as last weekend, seven and three for fourth overall so that’s kind of crazy. A little bit like last week in the first moto we struggled a little bit with bike set up, made some changes for second moto it was way better. Now not going to touch it anymore, just riding this week and hopefully be ready to do two good motos because kind of disappointed in the first moto I was third feeling confident and then just dropped the rhythm quite a lot. So, second moto was way better, I was not too far from Justin [Cooper] I was trying to fight and catch but he was little bit too far. But hopefully we can do two good motos and be on the box and hopefully fight for the win.
So, the set up that you had at Fox Raceway did you change it again for this weekend?
We tried to make…you know we always try to make it better and made some small mistake. So, we went back for second moto like at Pala and it was way better. So, we are just going to stick with that and hopefully we can do two good motos in Thunder Valley.
I know we have talked about adapting to the new tracks and on the podium you said that you liked this one at the end of the day, but what did you think about it from start to finish?
The track gets rough and hardpacked. I mean it was a lot hard, second moto was kind of dry actually. So, I like it to be honest, it's pretty nice. I think next weekend in Thunder Valley is also big ruts and kind of hard packed, so that’s a track I like. To be honest I feel more confident. Track was rough, downhill ruts, many ruts. A little bit of water before the second moto made the track slippery the first few laps. But it was a nice track, I like it, it was fun.
I know you got to race a lot of these guys during supercross, but how was the intensity compared to what you are used to at the GP’s?
It feels better, this year in supercross I couldn’t follow up on Hunter [Lawrence] or Justin Cooper of course didn’t ride so I don’t know him but Hunter and [Haiden] Deegan of course, are really fast and I couldn’t really follow them for 15 minutes. So now that I am closer it is nice that I can see the way they ride. Different than last year, I think the speed is not faster than last year because we did some motos last year with Jago Geerts where we go really fast, so I don’t think they go faster. That I am 100 percent sure, just the track they know and also myself I may have dropped a little bit of flow from last year, I didn’t ride much since Turkey last year, only supercross, so I need to get back in the rhythm and I think we will be soon fighting up front.
Watch some raw footage from Tom Journet's camera from round two of Pro Motocross.
I am curious your thoughts on this, how do the ruts develop here compared to GP’s, because I feel like when you watch the GP riders they are really smooth and fluid in the corners but here it's a lot of point, shoot and go. Do the ruts feel a lot different?
There’s many ruts, in GP’s I think we have a little bit less ruts. Tracks are hardpacked also so kind of similar but there are less ruts definitely. There’s more option on these tracks, that’s why first moto you don’t really even know where to go because there’s so many options, so many lines. So, you have to try, also in the morning we only ride two times for 15 minutes. We were talking with Ian [Harrison] the team manager for KTM and we only do ten or 11 laps before the first moto so that’s much. Especially when I don’t know the track, and you come to the first moto you still have to try. Inside, outside is developing and those are the main things that for me I need to get used to. But it will come I think quickly.
And lastly, I know it wasn’t that hot today in the end, but still how did you feel overall with the heat?
I was okay. I mean California is kind of dry, so we don’t have the humidity right now, so it was hot, but it was okay, it was nice.