Tommy Searle of Bike It DRT Kawasaki delighted the home fans in qualification for the British round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship with his best ride since returning from injury.
The 28-year-old home favourite was delighted to be back to leaderboard pace to qualify seventh for each of tomorrow’s GP motos at the Matterley Basin track in Hampshire where he scored a dramatic MX2 GP win for Kawasaki six years ago.
“It was no fun to be racing for 17th place two weeks ago in Germany but I’m feeling much more comfortable after another week back on the bike and I was determined to do well in my home GP,” said Searle. “I tightened up a little in the middle of the race when I should have been looking for new lines but my confidence is coming back and now I want to be back where I belong.”
Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team found himself closed down at the first turn of the 20-minute plus two laps race, but rode a clever opening lap to settle into eighth place and advanced strongly during the second half of the race to secure fifth choice of gate for each of tomorrow’s GP motos. Sixth in the timed practice session, Alessandro Lupino qualified in 12th position.
Jed Beaton rode strongly from a first lap slip in MX2 qualification to snatch sixth place on the F&H Racing Team Kawasaki KX250F, while Darian Sanayei made an impressive return to racing after two months out of action with a knee injury.
The American sensationally missed setting the fastest lap in timed practice by just 1,000th of a second but the long absence from race practice showed at the start of the qualifying race when he gated badly; however, he maintained his good speed from the earlier session to move forward from 18th place on the opening lap to earn 12th choice of gate for tomorrow’s GP motos, two positions behind Ruben Fernandez.
Darian Sanayei: “I felt really good in the timed practice session, posting the second fastest lap really close to the first, but then in the qualifying race I had a really bad start – I don’t really know what I did wrong but I got a bad jump out of the gate and I was in the pack.
“It’s only Saturday and it’s a qualifying session so I wasn’t pushing crazy hard although I hit my left leg a couple of times. My speed was good and I came back to 12th so I know that with a good start a top five is possible tomorrow.”