How much did the British fans want a British winner at the British GP? Anything an Olympic crowd can do, MX fans can do better – what a noise!
As if we need tell you it was Tommy Searle who delivered the headlines and for all the right reasons with two victories as MX2 championship leader Jeffrey Herlings pushed so hard he crashed out dramatically on the final lap of both motos.
Moto one saw Searle pull a clear gap with a stonking set of lap times, the best being a 1m57.4s which was clearly the fastest of the weekend and quicker than the MX1 boys were pulling.
But by two thirds distance Herlings was hunting him down and setting up an amazing final few laps. If a crowd ever lifts an athlete then this was surely it as Tommy rode the wave of noise, kept on it and forced the error from Jeffrey half way around the last lap. Herlings remounted though and came home ahead of Zach Osborne in third.
And bowl us over if it wasn’t exactly the same story in race two. The only difference being Herlings was on Searle’s back wheel all race long making the atmosphere even more electric. Truly it was an awesome atmosphere under glorious sunshine in the Basin bowl and to say MX2 stole the show would be like saying the crowd got sunburnt.
Behind the duo at the front Osborne took a 3-4 result to give him third overall on the day. Jake Nicholls, who was getting just as much noise from the crowd, put in a properly professional weekend to take 4-5 results, holding off Jeremy Van Horebeek and Arnaud Tonus respectively in the closing stages of each race. Joel Roelants lucked out big time dislocating his hip in practice but the silver lining was Jake’s, who is now realistically looking at fourth in the world championship.
Searle confessed afterwards: “That don’t happen to me. I don’t get two good starts like that. Jeffrey was strong towards the end of both races, he’s always strong but it shows how good the guy is when he’s always there. This was one of my best GP results ever. This was the best track we’ve had all year and the crowd were amazing and I had to give it everything to win it. It was amazing to see and hear them and when Jeffrey was getting close towards the end of each race they really made some noise and let me know.”
Herlings was happy with the weekend: “It was a good weekend and Tommy was fast, it always helps to have a home crowd. But I think we were about the same pace all weekend and I knew I had to give it something extra to get past in the last laps of both races and I made two small mistakes in both. When you are on the same fast pace you have to push that hard to make a pass and this is why I went down. But two podiums is good and we’re confident for the rest of the season.”
MX1 was inevitably a less exciting race, unless you’re a fan of watching the master at work in which case you couldn’t help but stand in wonder at the 2012 champion elect Tony Cairoli. It was as comfortable for Tony as ever. Behind him the battle between his team mates Max Nagl and Ken De Dycker was good viewing in moto one as was the battle for top Kawasaki honours between Gautier Paulin, Christophe Pourcel and Xavier Boog who also battled for honours in both motos. Paulin’s 4-3 result brought him third overall on the MX1 podium.
Our main man in MX1 Shaun Simpson got caught up in arguably the best racing of the MX1 weekend in moto two which at times was a right old scrap between Honda’s Evgeny Bobryshev and Rui Goncalves. Simpson’s 12th overall was a decent salvage after the first lap shenanigans made life hard in moto one.
GP results MX1
1. Antonio Cairoli, KTM 25-25 50
2. Maximilian Nagl KTM 22-22 44
3. Gautier Paulin Kawasaki 18-20 38
4. Ken de Dycker KTM 20-16 36
5. Xavier Boog Kawasaki 16-14 30
6. Clement Desalle Suzuki 15-10 25
7. Tanel Leok Suzuki 10-13 23
8. Kevin Strijbos KTM 14-9 23
9. Rui Goncalves Honda 7-15 22
10. Davide Guarneri KTM 9-12 21
11. Jonathan Barragan Honda 13-8 21
12. Shaun Simpson Yamaha 8-11 19
19. Alfie Smith Yamaha 0-4 4
21. Alex Snow Kawasaki 1-2 3
22. Graeme Irwin Yamaha 3-0 3
23. Kristian Whatley Yamaha 2-0 2
24. Jamie Law KTM 0-1 1
1. Tommy Searle Kawasaki 25-25 50
2. Jeffrey Herlings KTM 22-22 44
3. Zachary Osborne Yamaha 20-18 38
4. Jeremy van Horebeek KTM 16-20 36
5. Jake Nicholls KTM 18-16 34
6. Arnaud Tonus Yamaha 15-15 30
7. Dylan Ferrandis Kawasaki 14-14 28
8. Valentin Teillet Kawasaki 13-13 26
9. Jordi Tixier KTM 12-9 21
10. Glenn Coldenhoff KTM 6-12 18
11. Jose Butron KTM 9-7 16
12. Julien Lieber Suzuki 10-5 15
13. Max Anstie Honda 0-11 11
14. Elliott Banks-Browne KTM 8-3 11
24. Lewis Tombs Honda 0-1 1
26. James Cottrell Honda 0
27. Jordan Booker Honda 0
28. Hamish Harwood Honda 0
Check out our mahoosive review, with responses from all the British riders in the October issue of DBR.