Tommy Searle raced to his third GP win of the season in the eighth round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Bastogne in Belgium to confirm his ambitions of winning this year’s world title.
Just four days after his 23rd birthday the Englishman and his Kawasaki KX250F were in scintillating form as he holeshot both motos and swept to the overall GP victory. The track was treacherous in the first moto as spinning wheels quickly cut through the mud left by the heavy rain the previous day to reveal slippery rocks. Adopting a cautious approach on the opening lap Searle gave up the lead to title rival Herlings but was quickly back on his rival’s rear wheel before nearly crashing as he sought alternative lines. He wisely settled for second place, secure in the knowledge that victory in the second moto would secure the overall GP victory. Once again hitting the front from the first turn Searle ensured that he never gave his rival the chance to attack and finished an overwhelming winner of both moto and GP. The pace which the two leaders had set was so fast that Searle won the second race nearly a minute faster than the winner of the MX1 race on the more powerful 450cc machines. The victory has consolidated his second place in the world championship at the halfway stage of the series.
Joel Roelants, Searle’s colleague at Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit, missed the podium by one position after twice chasing through the field. Still recovering from the after-effects of a major crash several weeks ago the Belgian gated well but had little luck in a particularly hectic 180 degree first turn and twice had to fight his way forward for this result. Roelants remains fourth in the standings and he has extended his advantage over the chasers.
Injury to Valentin Teillet left Dylan Ferrandis alone to represent Team Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki and the French teenager again showed tremendous speed. He was an impressive second in qualification and was running a solid seventh, pushing hard to move forward, in race one when he collided with another rider and stalled the machine. Despite pain in his recently injured wrists he fought stoically forward to seventh place in race two to maintain his top ten world ranking.
Tommy Searle: “My Kawasaki got me out of the gate first in both motos today and that is really important in my battles with Herlings. I was a little too cautious on the first lap of the first race but the track was really tricky and I didn’t want to take any risks. I knew I was the fastest and I soon caught him up again, but we were both using the same lines so I had to search for new ones but they were not so good; I nearly crashed and lost a lot of time, but I knew I could still win the GP on the second moto. The track was better in the second race and I just concentrated on keeping him off my rear wheel. The points gap is still 24 points, but we are only halfway through the series and I have again proved that I am the fastest.”
Joel Roelants: “ I’m still not 100%, but this weekend I felt better than in France and Portugal and I think that in Sweden it will be OK. Here in Belgium my starts were not so good; I lost several positions at the first corner but then fought hard for fourth and fifth place, so that’s not so bad.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “On Saturday I had a good feeling with the track, and only needed a few laps to get the second position in the timed practice session. The track was very good today, but in the first race I made a small mistake when I was seventh and another rider hit me; I stalled the engine stalled and lost too much time to restart. My second start was not so good, but I fought back to seventh; my wrist was painful again, so I will rest for a few days but we have two weeks before the next GP so I hope for a good race in Sweden.”