Tom Vialle about his title and the upcoming AMA Nationals

Tom Vialle about his title and the upcoming AMA Nationals
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The French motocross rider is a phenomenon. After an introductory year, he won the AMA 250SX East Supercross title and previously won two world titles in the MX2 class. Tom Vialle is well on his way to becoming a great gentleman and spoke to the press about his achievements and the future after winning the 250SX title.

Was it your plan to learn Supercross your first year and then become SX champion your second year?

I don't know if you can say that. Of course it's great to learn in the first year and win in the second year, but to be honest I didn't really expect it. My goal was to be consistent throughout the season and of course to be able to fight for the win. After my victory in Daytona and after I won again in Birmingham I said to myself “okay, I can fight for a title” and in the end I did.

It's really incredible. I felt very good all season, much better than last year. Last year I had a really hard time and this year I had a lot more fun, so it was crazy.

How do you deal with your emotions during the last race and a bad place at the starting gate?

I had a good day with a few good laps in the afternoon. I felt good. I had a bad start in the heat race and the track was really muddy because we were the first on it. It was greasy, slippery and I was having quite a hard time. I think I ended up 8th or 9th and it wasn't great, I couldn't overtake anyone. The track was tricky and I had about 18th starting place for the final; it was really bad.

I was really on the outside and at the 30 second panel I told myself to really get a good start and I did it. I was 5 or 6 at the start and from the second lap I saw that Haiden was in the lead. From that moment on I knew I couldn't make any mistakes because I had to finish 10th or 11th to take the title if he won. I was a bit stressed during the final, I didn't want to make any mistakes, but I did well.

Does Haiden Deegan's mental war mean anything to you?

I knew full well that Haiden would try to destabilize me from press day, but I understand. In his position I probably would have done the same. Haiden is still young, he rides very well and he rode very well all day. He tried to throw me off a bit, but I can't blame him because I probably would have done the same. If you come second, if you aim for a title, then so be it. We train hard for this all year long, so honestly I can understand why he did this.

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Is there a difference between an SX title and the two world titles in MX2?

Yeah, I think it helped me a little tonight. This title was more difficult to win than the MX2 World Championship. Especially since it's only my second season in Supercross and I feel like I still have a lot to learn because I'm learning more with every race. In the GPs I was in control, I knew what I was doing, I felt safer and it is also a championship held over 20 events. Here it's much shorter, so you can't really afford mistakes. So I would say it was harder to win this title than the titles I won in Europe.

How do you view the upcoming AMA Nationals?

To be honest, and I don't know exactly why, I had a really hard time at the beginning of the outdoors last year. A few weeks ago I did a few days of motocross – I didn't want to change my discipline too much to focus on Supercross, but we rode anyway – and I felt much better than last year, so I'm really looking forward to it out to ride outside. I don't know exactly, but after last year's Motocross des Nations – where I rode really well – I have a much better feeling about motocross. The bike is well set up, so I'm looking forward to being at Pala in two weeks and I think I'll be a lot better than last year.

I am much more relaxed now that I have the title in my pocket. I won the title in my second season and now I can really focus on my progress outside. I feel good, I had a good winter training with Chase, Levi and Peter, my trainer. Physically I feel good and that will help me during the motocross season. I also think I'm riding better than last year, so I'm really looking forward to it. I really want to be better than last season, because I wasn't that good, and I want to be able to turn things around this season.

What are your plans for the future?

To be honest, I don't really know. I try to concentrate on every championship. I don't really know, I think there have been changes in the regulations? If I don't win next year, I think I can still ride the 250? If I win two consecutive titles, which is of course the goal, I would switch to 2026cc in 450.

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Are there any MX2 riders who ask you questions about racing in America?

Some, not all. I'm still in touch with a lot of riders in Europe and I've heard that a lot of the MX2 GP riders want to come to the United States to ride Supercross and I think that's really cool but honestly it's not easy. During my last three seasons in the MX2 World Championship I won two championships and while I wouldn't say I was faster than everyone, I felt quite comfortable in the category and I won quite a few events. But when I got to the United States, things were really complicated.

Last year there were a lot of ups and downs and after the first Supercross I really wondered if I had made the right decision coming here. It was complicated. So I'm really happy that things are going so well this year, I'm even more motivated than last year. There are a lot of riders who want to come here and if they come, that would be a good thing.

Did you think you could still win the title after the first race in Detroit?

No, after that event I told myself it was over and then Austin Forkner fell in the second race and we all got back on points. After the third race I was only 4 or 5 points behind the first and I was really surprised because it worked out very well for many riders after that. I think Haiden was in the same position as me, a few points behind the leader after missing the first event completely. It was crazy because after Daytona the championship restarted.

Did you deliberately want to go for the title in your second year of Supercross?

That was always the goal. In 2022 I won my last title in Europe and at the beginning of the year I didn't know yet whether I would come here. After the last Supercross of the season I decided I wanted to come. I watched the races on my computer at night. I had decided that Supercross was my goal for the next few years and two years later I have already won my first title, so it is incredible. I've been watching Supercross all my life, since I was a kid, and to win a title after two years is crazy. I don't know if I can say that I expected to become champion so early, but winning was of course the goal.


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