Another strong Qualifying race for Tommy Searle gave the British fans hope that he could deliver good results in the Sunday motos at Matterley Basin for the 11th round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship.
Searle (Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki) had qualified eighth in his home GP and eventually took that same position in the opening GP moto after advancing strongly from 11th on a track where passing was proving difficult for many riders.
He again made rapid advances in race two to hold down seventh before problems with his vision in the incessant rain forced him back to 16th. He is now 11th in the points standings.
“It was nice to race my home GP, to see so many fans and try to spend some time with them as they gave us amazing support,” said Searle. “It’s been a really good weekend, but it’s a shame that the rain came for the second race.
“I was happy with the first race, then in the second one I had some good laps but then the rain was so bad that I had trouble with my goggles – I slowed down too much as I didn’t want to take them off, but I should have throw them away… In the first race I had a good speed, I know I can do it and I just hope that I make it happen soon.”
It was Tixier’s fourth race back from injury and he continues to show increased speed each race. After posting 11th place in the timed practice session and the qualifying race on Saturday the Frenchman made further advances on post his best two results to date on race day with ninth in race one and sixth in race two. The combined results gave him eighth overall in the GP and he has advanced to nineteenth in the series standings despite missing the first seven rounds.
“It was a great weekend for me; I was happy with my results and my rhythm,” offered Tixier. “On Saturday I did my best qualifying race – I finished 11th but I was really close to the top five. In the first moto I got a ninth and did even better in the next one – my start was great, but in the second corner I got a stone in my goggles and damaged them. I didn’t want to throw them away as it was raining – finally I had to do it but I had a good rhythm and could keep my sixth place. It’s nice to see that we are working well with the team. Now we’ll move to Holland to prepare for Mantova next weekend.”
It was a mixed weekend for Desalle. The Belgian had set second fastest time in timed practice but was denied a better placing than seventh in the qualifying race after being squeezed out at the first turn. The first GP moto was a disappointment after a first lap crash but Clement rode with great determination to recover from 32nd place on the opening lap to grab four points for 17th place and he carried the speed on into the second moto when, after starting fifth, he crossed the line an impressive fourth. Ninth overall in the Grand Prix, he is now 12th in the series standings.
“It’s a good feeling to end the weekend with a top five result, especially after the first race where I didn’t get what I could expect,” said Desalle. “I had a bad start and then during the first lap I jumped on a mound of earth and did a superman! I didn’t crash but my adrenalin was up – I lost my rhythm and even crashed later in this lap. I was last, as long way back, and recovered to 17th so for sure it was good to get a fourth position in the next race. I had a better start around fifth or sixth, and then came through to fourth – I tried to catch a podium, but Paulin had also a good rhythm. We continue to work with the team – this year many things are new as I race with a new bike, new suspension, new tyres and we must find the best settings for me. But I feel the improvements, and that’s good for the future.”