Bad luck restricted England’s Tommy Searle to fifth place in his home round of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship at Matterley Basin near Winchester.
The CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider had won the MX2 GP at his home track last year and went into this year’s event full of confidence for a good result in the MX1 class. However a string of bad luck dogged his tracks all weekend. Already in qualification another rider fell in front of him at the first corner and he had to race from last place, and the resultant poor choice of start gate meant that he again had to chase through the field to finish sixth in the opening points-scoring race. He finally got a relatively good start in the second race but again another rider fell in his path on the opening lap and he was again forced to battle his way through the field to finish seventh. Those results left him fifth overall on the day and he is now secure in sixth position in the championship.
Gautier Paulin of the Kawasaki Racing Team continues to rebuild after a heavy concussion last month, but he too had the misfortune to be the innocent victim of a first turn collision and spent the entire race recovering to ninth place. A better start in race two enabled the Frenchman to race for fifth position and his overall GP placing of sixth means that he retains fourth place in the series standings prior to the final GP in a fortnight.
His teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek was confident after finishing second to the MX1 world champion during qualification, but an incident at the first corner saw him crash heavily and, although he tried to continue, the damage to the bike forced him to retire. The Belgian confirmed his speed in race two as he took second place to consolidate his seventh position in the championship standings.
Tommy Searle: “It was just a bad day and there is not much more I can say. Last year was good but this was a day to forget. I had a good start in the second race but Philippaerts crashed in front of me while I was fifth. I had to come from last again. I cannot even remember what happened in the first race but that wasn’t good either. My times were fast in both races but the way the year has gone it doesn’t surprise me the way things have gone today.”
Gautier Paulin: ”The track was pretty rough with so many races and some rain in the morning, but I had fun. In the first race I was unlucky as my teammate collided with another rider and crashed; his bike hit mine and I ended up off the track. I was nearly last and came back to ninth, I just rode my own race and it was good training. The second race was better; I battled with Cairoli and finished fifth and, even if it’s not so great, I’m happy with the result. As I said last week I’m recovering and re-building my shape and my confidence; I feel I made some good progress this weekend and that’s the most important.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “My Saturday was nearly perfect, as I finished second in both practice sessions and then in the qualifying race, so I was confident for Sunday. I had a great start in the first moto but Strijbos pushed me in the first corner and I crashed; the front brake was damaged and later I had no more oil and had to retire. In the second race I had a great start in third position, then Cairoli made a mistake and I raced second for the entire race. I want to thank the team, which provided me a new engine this weekend; it was much better for the start.”