The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team charged to a pair of podium results in Round 3 of the 2023 Pro Motocross Championship, with Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb claiming second and third positions in the 450MX Class, while Maximus Vohland finished with a consistent sixth place in 250MX.
Plessinger piloted his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to seventh on the 450MX overall qualifying timesheets, before launching to a top-five start in the opening moto. A collision sent the number seven down the order, however, a spirited ride back through the field resulted in fourth place.
A drama-free race in the second moto saw Plessinger’s KTM successfully navigate the technical, rutted Colorado circuit at Thunder Valley, with a second-place finish enough to secure his best overall of the 2023 season in P2. He’s currently fourth in the standings following the opening three rounds.
Aaron Plessinger: “It was a good day overall here in Colorado. First moto was unfortunate, because I took a line that just went into Dylan [Ferrandis’] line – I didn’t see him coming, and then we slammed into each other. His bike was on top of me, but I got back going and managed to salvage fourth. Second moto, I got a decent start, made a few passes and felt good, then with a few laps to go I just wanted to keep it on two wheels for second. Overall, it was a great day and I’m happy.”
Premier class teammate Webb began his Thunder Valley race day with sixth in qualifying, before starting out the opening moto in second place. It was there that he would remain, locking down second and carrying added confidence into the second moto of the afternoon.
Showers emerged and created difficult conditions for the 450MX field by the time the second moto arrived, with Webb posting a calculated ride throughout the 30-minute plus two-lap affair, finishing in fifth position for the final step on the overall podium in P3. He’s also ranked third in the championship.
Cooper Webb: “My day was quiet, but the result was positive in the end. I struggled a little bit all day, but here we are back on the podium, which is awesome. I didn’t really expect to be in this position, so we’ll take it, and keep it rolling into High Point.”
In the 250MX Class, Vohland put in a consistent day at Thunder Valley, qualifying eighth following the morning sessions on his KTM 250 SX-F. After a mid-pack start in the opening moto, he raced his way forward, making a series of passes before securing seventh place by race’s end. A better start in the second moto saw Vohland go two positions better, landing a 7-5 scorecard for sixth overall, which places him seventh in points.
Maximus Vohland: “The track was super-gnarly today with the deep ruts, but the crew here did a really great job preparing it. The 250MX Class is a dogfight right now and starts are critical, because there isn’t a lot of separation between everybody, so overall, I’m happy with my day and am feeling comfortable on the bike. I’m looking forward to High Point – I feel strong and fast, so I’m excited.”
Thunder Valley proved to be a challenge for Pro Motocross newcomer Tom Vialle, who qualified in P11, although was caught up in a crash at the start that took down a sizeable portion of the 250MX field. During his charge back toward the front, the Frenchman experienced another fall, which would signal the end of his Colorado race weekend. Vialle is P8 in the standings and is aiming to continue at High Point next weekend.
Tom Vialle: “I actually felt really good on the track today from the first practice, although unfortunately, I had a crash on the start straight during the first moto, which took down a lot of riders. My bike was banged up after that – it was a big crash. I came back from last to around 16th, then with two laps to go I made a mistake and crashed again. I hurt my left wrist, although it’s nothing serious, but I was unable to do the second moto after riding the sighting lap. It wasn’t really painful, but my wrist felt weak, so we decided to not line up and hopefully I can ride next week at High Point, which is the goal.”
Next Race: June 17 – Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania
Results 450MX Class – Thunder Valley
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-1
2. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM, 4-2
3. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM, 2-5
15. Tyler Stepek (USA), KTM
17. Max Miller (USA), KTM
25. Jeffrey Walker (USA), KTM
27. Trevor Schmidt (USA), KTM
29. Zack Williams (USA), KTM
33. Dawson Drayott (USA), KTM
Results 250MX Class – Thunder Valley National
1. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 2-1
2. Justin Cooper (USA), Yamaha, 1-4
3. Levi Kitchen (USA), Yamaha, 5-2
6. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, 7-5
15. Derek Kelley (USA), KTM
17. Slade Smith (RSA), KTM
21. Marcus Phelps (USA), KTM
24. Ethan Lane (GB), KTM
25. Blaze Cremaldi (USA), KTM
27. Hunter Cross (USA), KTM
33. Bryson Raymond (USA), KTM
35. Nicholas Inman (USA), KTM
37. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM
41. Josh Varize (USA), KTM
Standings 450MX Class 2023 after 3 of 11 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 150 points
2. Dylan Ferrandis, 116
3. Cooper Webb, 112
4. Aaron Plessinger, 109
19. Dante Oliveira, 15
22. Tyler Stepek, 11
23. Christopher Prebula, 10
27. Max Miller, 7
36. Jeffrey Walker, 1
Standings 250MX Class 2023 after 3 of 11 rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence, 137 points
2. Justin Cooper, 121
3. Haiden Deegan, 110
7. Maximus Vohland, 83
8. Tom Vialle, 68
22. Derek Kelley, 14
26. Slade Smith, 7
28. Josh Varize, 4
30. Marcus Phelps, 2