JOLIET, Ill. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger charged to a fourth-place result at the second stop of the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Finals series in the 450SMX Class at Chicagoland Speedway, with 250SMX challenger Maximus Vohland finishing fifth overall.
Plessinger was P7 in qualifying on the high-speed, hybrid SMX circuit, with a blend of both outdoor and indoor-style obstacles presenting fresh challenges for riders and teams. Red Bull KTM had Plessinger comfortable from the outset, as the Ohio native made his way forward throughout the entire opening moto, finishing in a hard-fought fifth place.
After launching his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to a mid-field start in Moto 2, Plessinger’s pace was once again on display as he made his way through the pack, before crossing the finish-line in fourth position and securing P4 overall for the round.
Plessinger now sits fourth overall in the 450SMX standings and, with triple points on offer for the final round of the SMX Finals series at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum next weekend, the premier class title-race remains wide-open.
Aaron Plessinger: “I felt super-comfortable today here in Chicago! The team and I made some great set-up decisions on the motorcycle and I think it really showed. The starts weren’t quite there – I ate a lot of roost tonight – but I was able to charge hard during both motos and was going forward right until the final lap of each race. Excited with where we are at and the feeling that we achieved today! P4 in the standings, and with triple points next weekend, we’ll be fighting hard for the top spot in LA.”
Vohland, meanwhile, recorded the 12th-fastest qualifying time at Chicagoland Speedway, before a poor start in Moto 1 saw the number 34 race his way up into eighth place by moto’s end. Another mid-pack start in the second outing saw him work his way through the field with a strong ride all the way until the checkered flag. He ended up fifth in the race and overall for the weekend.
Maximus Vohland: “I felt really comfortable on the bike right away in Chicago. Struggled off the start in Moto 1 and had to make a lot of passes to get into eighth, which was good. In Moto 2, I got a better start and went from 10th to fifth, so I had a really good ride. With triple points on offer next weekend, we’re still right in this thing and the plan for LA is to put the hammer down and finish the season strong.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle set the tone for his day at Chicago by posting the seventh-fastest 250SMX qualifying time, before powering his KTM 250 SX-F to an encouraging fourth-place score in the opening moto after a race-long battle among the leaders.
Moto 2 began with a top-10 start for the dual MX2 World Champion, however, after racing all the way into third position, Vialle was unfortunately ruled out with a damaged gear-shifter as a result of making contact with a tuff-block, which marked the conclusion of his weekend. Vohland now sits seventh and Vialle eighth in the 250SMX standings with a single round remaining.
Tom Vialle: “Today was good! I finished fourth place in the first moto and we were all super-close, so it was fun to be fighting for the win. And then second moto, I didn’t get a very good start, but I came back really strong and was in P3. Unfortunately, I clipped a tuff-block, which broke my shifter with three laps to go, and I had to pull in, which was disappointing. This is motorsport though and now we have one more to go in LA, where we will finish the season strong.”
Next Race: September 23 – Los Angeles, California
Results 450SMX Class – SMX Playoff 2
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-2
2. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, 3-1
3. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 2-3
4. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 5-4
Results 250SMX Class – SMX Playoff 2
1. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-1
2. Jo Shimoda (JPN), Kawasaki, 2-2
3. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha, 3-3
5. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, 8-5
14. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM, 4-22
21. Josh Varize (USA), KTM
Standings 450SMX Class 2023 after 2 of 3 finals
1. Chase Sexton, 90 points
2. Jett Lawrence, 88
3. Ken Roczen, 80
4. Aaron Plessinger, 74
Standings 250SMX Class 2023 after 2 of 3 finals
1. Hunter Lawrence, 89 points
2. Jo Shimoda, 86
3. Haiden Deegan, 82
7. Maximus Vohland, 59
8. Tom Vialle, 54