Although the result that Tommy Searle acquired at Duns, round five of the Maxxis British Championship, may not garner too much attention, there were more positives for him to extract from the event. The speed that he showed after a pit stop in the first moto indicated that he could have won, had it not been for a horrid start. Searle breaks down all of that in this exclusive post-race interview.
MX Vice: Obviously only one moto today, so you could not really get too much from it. Once you pulled into the pits for goggles, I guess, your speed was really impressive. I guess from that point of view, you have got to be quite happy.
Tommy Searle: Yeah, not really much to be happy about. I got good out of the start and then I think [Ivo] Monticelli was next to me and he just hit me into a turn. I clipped his back wheel and got really off-balance, then almost crashed. I came around the first turn way back, probably last. When I looked up there was no one behind me. Then I just made my way forward, but with the goggles I wore roll-offs. Everyone was in the same position with the goggles. Just a struggle to see.
I took them off and I was riding around and I just kept making mistakes because I could not see. I pit stopped, got a set of goggles and then it was like a different race almost when I came out to the end of the race. I think I rode around in eighth and then I pit stopped, lost [positions] and went to twelfth. I came back to sixth for the last four laps. There is not really much to say. It was just wet and horrible. Just a wet, horrible day really riding motorbikes around the field.
Were you surprised how much your pit stop kind of helped you? Obviously, I saw lots of people pull in today and you were the only guy who it noticeably made a night and day difference for.
I think it was because I was really struggling without them and, with the other set of goggles, I was trying to hold onto them. That was not a good idea. I should have pitted way earlier, but then I thought I would lose a lot of time. Actually, I did not lose much time in the pit stop and I just made it up. I probably made up more in one lap than what I lost.
It is just a bit of a shame for the organisers. I think it is a really nice track up here. They have tried. They have put on an event unlike anyone else and it is good. With the weather… It is just that no one has really turned up to watch. It is just a shame, really. There were a few sheep queuing up at the gate earlier on, but I do not know if they can go in or not. I do not know if they were charging them.
You have seen the conditions, the MX2 race and all that. You are happy enough with the decision to cancel it, right? With the mist and everything, it would have been pretty dangerous.
Yeah, it is just one of those things. There is nothing really for us to gain. When I was riding around the first lap and I could not see the first race already, I was already thinking to myself, “Be sensible and don’t do anything stupid because in one moment…” It was so slippery that something could go wrong. I think it is the sensible thing to do with the weather.
You cannot really see from one marshal point to the next. The track is bad, but you can ride around a track. That is not really the problem. I think the best lap in the second MX2 race was forty seconds slower than their qualifying lap. The track is bad, but you could get around it. I think it is the best decision to make, considering it is really windy and misty. It is just really horrible up here.
I guess that is the one thing you have got to bear in mind as well, because you are not in a championship fight. There is not really much for you to gain in the standings, so you do not want to risk anything here. Obviously if you were going for a title it would be a different situation, but at the end of the day you have got yours goals and this maybe is not a priority.
No, it would still be nice. I still enjoy coming to these and I obviously want to give my best every time, but it did not happen. It is all in the start this weekend and I did not make the best of that situation, so it was my fault. I still enjoy coming. When we go to Hawkstone in a couple weeks hopefully it is a nice day and I can try and win there and have a good weekend.
I still really enjoy racing the British Championship. It means a lot to me to win these races. I am out of the title chase this year through missing the first round, but I’ll race it again in the following years. I really think it is a great championship to win and one that, being British, means a lot.
Doing a championship like this, does it take away from your Lommel prep? Obviously, if you could be in Belgium just pounding out lap after lap in the sand it would help, but do you think it makes a noticeable difference having to travel here and race on hard-pack or what would have been hard-pack?
Yeah, it does actually, a lot this week. I drove out to Lommel last Tuesday on my own and I rode Lommel Wednesday, Thursday and then drove to Czech. Then I drove back from Czech and rode Lommel Tuesday and Wednesday and then I had to come back here. I drove back to England and drove up to Scotland. I would have rather have stayed out there.
I was already out there and could have done four or five more days riding in the sand and really made the most of it, but it is what it is. It does take away from it obviously, but it cannot be helped. We just have to crack on and I will probably go ride the sand in England tomorrow at this quarry I know and then will fly out to Lommel on Thursday.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: MPS Images