Morning Espresso: Vurb’s 2024 Team Previews: Red Bull KTM

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Welcome to the offseason and our new ongoing “Team Previews” column. Every week from now until the Monster Energy Supercross season starts in January we will be profiling a big team in the sport. We’ll go through the changes that have been made, analyze results, and give each team a grade on all of their offseason moves. This week we have the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team and you will find the full schedule below.

The Biggest Question Mark: Will the move to KTM put Chase Sexton above the competition?

Who’s In:

#4 – Chase Sexton
#7 – Aaron Plessinger
#16 – Tom Vialle
#929 – Julien Beaumer

Who’s Out:

#2 – Cooper Webb
#20 – Maximus Vohland

Last Season’s Supercross Results:
Chase Sexton – 1st (450SX)
Aaron Plessinger – 7th (450SX)
Tom Vialle – 8th (250SX East)
Julien Beaumer – Raced 250SX Futures

Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Chase Sexton – 4th (450MX)
Aaron Plessinger – 3rd (450MX)
Tom Vialle – 6th (250MX)
Julien Beaumer – 28th (250MX)

Best 2023 SX Finish:
Chase Sexton – 1st (Anaheim 2, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Salt Lake City)
Aaron Plessinger- 2nd (Salt Lake City)
Tom Vialle – 4th (Arlington)
Julien Beaumer – 1st (Glendale, East Rutherford) (250SX Futures)

Best 2023 MX Finish:
Chase Sexton – 2nd (Fox Raceway, Southwick, Spring Creek, Washougal, Unadilla, Ironman)
Aaron Plessinger – 2nd Overall (Budds Creek, Thunder Valley)
Tom Vialle – 1st Overall (Southwick)
Julien Beaumer – 9th Overall (Budds Creek)

Offseason Grade: A+  

(It’s important to note that Marvin Musquin could join the team to race supercross, but as of deadline his plans have not officially been announced.)

The Rundown:
The news of Chase Sexton going to Red Bull KTM surfaced last summer, so it was no surprise to see his departure from the HRC Honda team. It was also going to be a tough task for the team to have three top 450 riders. Cooper Webb has had some serious ups and downs with the KTM team through the years and he opted for a change. His departure to Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha left a serious championship contender void, but Sexton has come in to patch that up. This may be the fresh start that Sexton needs to truly show this sport that he’s the man to beat for years to come. Can his move to the KTM put him at a serious advantage over other contenders like Jett Lawrence, Eli Tomac, and Cooper Webb? This is Sexton’s best chance to do just that, however the competition will be too good to let that happen. If Chase elevates his game, then the others will do so as well. Expect the 2023 450SX champion to take all of the titles down to the wire next year and possibly win one or two. 

The Cowboy, Aaron Plessinger, is someone who everybody wants to see get a win. He almost had his first 450SX victory at Detroit last season before crashing on the final lap. It was heartbreaking, but it also showed that he is more than capable of getting the job done one of these days. Here is what you’re going to get out of AP in 2024: top fives, podiums, and possibly his first win. That’s not bad at all. KTM knows that Plessinger has the tools to be in the fight both indoors and outdoors. AP has a one year deal in place with KTM at the moment, so he’s going to do whatever it takes this season to get an extension. 

The two-time MX2 World Champion Tom Vialle had a very impressive “rookie” American season. He earned number 16 for 2024 and with a year of racing under his belt he will be a championship favorite both indoors and outdoors. Vialle turns 24 tomorrow (October 28), he brings knowledge from racing at tracks all over the world, and he’s on one of the best bikes in the class. It’s all adding up to be the year of the Vialle as long as injuries don’t come into play during the supercross season.

It was a shock to see KTM bring on Julien Beaumer. That’s not saying that Beaumer doesn’t have the skills for this team, because he clearly does. He made his pro debut with the team at Budds Creek and finished 11-9 on the day. The shock factor comes from his rapid rise to a top amateur prospect in 2023. Beaumer was for the most part a top ten guy at Loretta Lynn’s through the years and even captured a 450 B Limited title in 2021. However, no one was expecting him to qualify first at the Anaheim 2 Futures SX. The field was stacked and he had them all covered in practice. He went on to get an offer from the Orange Brigade amateur program and he rewarded them with two Futures main event wins. At Loretta’s he won two 250 Pro Sport motos before racing the final two Pro Motocross races of the year. Beaumer comes into 2024 with a multi-year deal with the team. This first year should come with no pressure and he just needs to show the team what he can do and progress along the way.

The Red Bull KTM team has overcome the hurdles that came with new bike changes from a year ago. This team is on the right path of getting back on track with winning championships with contenders like Vialle and Sexton in each class.

2024 Rider Projections:

Chase Sexton- A race winner on any given weekend and an all-around championship contender in both classes. Chase will be on the podium every race. The only thing that’s going to stop him from that are his frequent crashes, but he may be able to solve that issue on his new KTM.

Aaron Plessinger- A top ten rider on his bad days, a top five and podium contender on his good days. AP is as solid as it gets.

Tom Vialle- A championship contender both indoors and out.

Julien Beaumer- He’ll put a lot of pressure on himself to perform, but his true potential will be reached if he stays healthy, puts in all the laps at the races, and gets pro racing experience. 

Thanks for reading my series of team previews for the coming season. If you’d like to talk about these or any of the other stories that I’ve written you can email me at [email protected] You can also reach me on Twitter/Instagram: @troydogvurb

2024 Team Preview Schedule:

10/13 – Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull /  GASGAS Factory Race Team

10/20 – Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki

10/27 – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

11/3 – HRC Honda

11/7 – Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing

11/10 – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

11/14 – HEP Motorsports

11/17 – Team Solitaire

11/21 – AEO Powersports KTM

11/24 – Rock River Yamaha

11/28 – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

12/1 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha

12/5 – Partzilla PRMX 

12/8 – HBI Racing Kawasaki

12/12 – Triumph Racing

12/15 – Madd Parts Kawasaki

12/19 – Liqui Moly Beta Racing

12/22 – MotoConcepts Racing

12/29 – Firepower Honda

1 /3 – Phoenix Racing Honda

1/ 5- Bar-X Suzuki

Main image: KTM Images

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Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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