Courtesy of KTM Racing
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing restarted their engines with two ‘warm-up’ appearances in the initial rounds of the 2020 Czech national motocross series where current MX2 FIM World Championship leader Tom Vialle celebrated a victory and a runner-up podium finish.
The MX2 crew of Vialle and Rene Hofer (with EMX European Championship rider Liam Everts also in competition) travelled to the Czech Republic for the first two rounds of six in the domestic contest. The events at the Dalecin and Kaplice circuits were some of the first in Europe to take place after wide international lockdown restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vialle flew to a 1-1 set of moto wins at Dalecin on his works KTM 250 SX-F while Hofer was also fast to gain 2nd place overall at the hard-packed opener. The Frenchman and Austrian had last competed at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands at Valkenswaard on March 8th.
A week later at Kaplice Vialle ran MX2 Grand Prix rival Jago Geerts close for victory: the gap was less than a second between the two riders in the second moto. Vialle lifted the red plate again on the podium thanks to a 2-2 scorecard as Hofer rode securely to 5th position overall (having qualified fastest) and Everts made the top ten with 10th spot.
The Czech outings helped both 18-year olds get back into a race groove. The re-arranged 2020 MXGP schedule was published last week with the first of three events to take place at the Kegums circuit in Latvia representing the resumption of Grand Prix duty on August 9th.
Tom Vialle: “A pretty good weekend again and I’m happy with the week we’ve had here in the Czech Republic. The track was really good for passing, even if there were a lot of lappers from pretty early in the race and there was only really one line: you had to be patient and ended up losing some time, so that made things tricky. I had the best lap-time in both motos and had a great feeling on the bike. In the end it was good training. Now we’ll have a small break before working in Belgium this next month and then the GPs start again!”
Rene Hofer: “The last two weeks were definitely productive for getting back into the racing routine. Dalecin was a great track and pretty much ‘GP style’ so it was a good day and I finished in second place behind Tom. Kaplice was a good training day but a few issues meant I didn’t get the results I wanted after taking pole position. On top of that we had two amazing training days during the week with the tracks prepped to Grand Prix spec. Anyway, I am stoked to see the new MXGP calendar and to finally have a date we can focus on. I am feeling in good shape and I can’t wait to restart the season.”
Czech Republic MX2 Championship standings
1. Tom Vialle, KTM, 94 points
2. Rene Hofer, KTM, 76
3. Richard Sikyna, KTM, 74
4. Jago Geerts, Yamaha, 72
5. Michael Sandner, KTM, 60
13. Liam Everts, KTM, 30