Tommy Searle would be entitled to feel hard done-by after nailing one of his best motos of the season, only to be mugged by a 10-place penalty.
Track maintenance following rainfall the previous day made overtaking difficult around the switchback track an hour’s drive from the Norwegian frontier, and fortune played a role in the final results. Unfortunately Paulin twice tangled with other riders during the first moto and could only finish seventh, whilst a slip at the start of the second race proved costly after the Frenchman had rounded the first turn in second place. Quickly finding a good rhythm, Paulin set the fastest lap of the race to finish fourth and retain his second place in the championship standings.
“I’m disappointed today as I crashed twice in each race, but this year was still much better than last year when I struggled here,” said Paulin. “In the first race I nearly crashed when another rider came in my line, and then crashed when a rider hit my front wheel. I recovered to seventh, and then got a great start in the second race but I fell during the first lap as they had watered the track too much in a corner. I stalled the engine, but I found a good rhythm and came back fourth with the fastest lap time so I stay confident for the next GPs.”
Teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek found it difficult to maintain his excellent run of starts in recent GPs and twice had to battle through the field during the early stages of each moto, his rugged determination evident as he twice advanced to fifth place to reinforce his eighth place in the standings.
Jeremy Van Horebeek said: “I like this track; there’s not so much grip and you have to ride smoothly. I was second in both practice sessions, but my start was not really good in the qualifying race where I scored a sixth position. Today my starts were again my main problem, but in the first race I came back to fourth and battled with Desalle for third until we came up behind the lappers; I lost too much time with them, made a mistake, and De Dycker was able to pass me. My second start was worse, but I was again able to come back to fifth. That’s OK but now I want some podium results.”
Tommy Searle of Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit was most unfortunate. He raced to an impeccable sixth place in the opening moto and went on to cross the line third, just three seconds from victory, in race two before learning that he had been penalised ten places for allegedly failing to obey a waved yellow flag.
The Brit explained that he had been unsighted for the warning signal until it was too late to react, as the local official had not been standing in his field of vision; rider and team felt that the penalty was a trifle harsh in the circumstances, but accept the decision. The resultant loss of points also cost Searle the fifth place in the championship standings, which he had consolidated prior to the penalty.
“The track wasn’t too rough on Sunday, but it was slippery and technical so that was good for racing,” said Searle.
“We changed the sprocket on the bike and that was better for the start; we are moving forward so I’m happy. I got another third place today during the second moto, and I am coming closer to the podium. I felt quite good in this race and I didn’t need to push to my limits. In the last couple of laps I tried to pass De Dycker for second but I over-jumped one time as I had to take different lines and that cost a lot of time.
Unfortunately earlier in the race I did not see a yellow flag until it was too late to react as the marshall was standing on the wrong side of the track; I felt it was rather a harsh decision to penalise me as I have been told that other riders also jumped, but I have to accept the decision.”