Tommy Searle raced to his second consecutive GP victory in the ninth round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Uddevalla in Sweden to move relentlessly closer to the series pacesetter.
The British leader of Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit dominated both motos in changeable weather conditions, only desperate bad luck denying him a double victory as he was forced to pit for fresh goggles during the opening rain-affected moto before charging back to miss victory by just three seconds. He underlined his physical strength and the power of his Kawasaki KX250F with a clearcut victory in the second moto; it was the fifth consecutive GP in which he has won the energy-sapping second race. The victory moves Searle to within 16 points of the championship pacesetter with seven GPs of the 16 round series remaining.
He was joined on the podium for the first time by Dylan Ferrandis of Team Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki after the French teenager took the holeshot in both motos and showed great resiliance just one month after injury to post 4-3 moto finishes in the demanding conditions.
Searle’s teammate Joel Roelants had been the sandwich in a Kawasaki 2-3-4 finish in race one and the Belgian appeared to be a serious candidate for his first podium finish since the two opening GPs of the season until dirt affected the braking mechanism and he was pushed downfield after stalling the motor twice. Despite the difficulties he set the fastest lap of the race and has consolidated his fourth place in the series.
Benoit Paturel was promoted from the European championship series for the weekend to replace injured Bud teamster Valentin Teillet and the French youngster acquitted himself well in his maiden GP to grab points in both motos with tenth and seventeenth placed finishes.
Tommy Searle: “I got to the front quickly in both motos and had the races under control but my goggles steamed up in the first race and I lost something like ten seconds in just a couple of laps because I couldn’t see the lines. There are far too many lappers to ride without goggles so I had to pit for fresh ones. I just ran out of time to catch Jeffrey again, but it was the right decision – for the result and for my health ! I got past Dylan (Ferrandis) quickly in race two and just focused on riding smooth laps. Of course I would have liked to win both motos, but ironically I actually gained more points on Jeffrey today than if I had gone 1-1 and he 2-2. I’ve been confident all year; I just have to stay focused.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “I wasn’t expecting a podium this weekend as the track was pretty rough with the rain, and I didn’t feel as comfortable as usual. But I got the holeshot in both races and that made the difference! It felt good to lead for several laps, and then when Searle, Van Horebeek and Herlings came up on me I let them pass as they are racing for the title. It’s great to get my first podium here, especially as it is only one month since I was injured in France and I hope to get some more top five finishes before the end of the season.”
Joel Roelants: “I had a good start in the first race and rode my own pace to get third position. I rode well in the second race too; I was about seventh at the start and I was sure that I could get another podium, but I got mud in my rear brake and stalled the motor a couple of times because of it.”
Benoit Paturel: “My goal this season is the European MX2 title, but Bud called me up to replace Valentin (Teillet) for my first ever GP. This morning the track was nice during the warm up, but for the races it was not so good with the rain. In the first moto my start was not so good, but I found a good rhythm and came through the field to tenth. My start was even worse in the second race and I could only finished seventeenth; now I need to concentrate on the next round of the European MX2 in Latvia.”