Tommy Searle defied a series of unfortunate incidents to post a ninth placed finish for Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki in the second moto of the Latvian round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship.

The British rider went to the start of the qualification race at the rugged Kegums track full of anticipation after posting the second fastest time in each of the practice sessions, but within yards of the start two other riders collided and one of the machines bounced into his path.

The inevitable poor starting place meant that he had no chance of a good start in either GP moto, but he battled valiantly to finish ninth in moto two after damage to the bike had eliminated him from 10th place in race one. He is now 11th in the championship standings.


“I proved once again when I posted second fastest time in every practice that I am as fast as anyone out there,” opined Searle. “But I just don’t have any luck. At the start of the qualification race two other riders collided right in front of me and one of them crashed into me so I only had 24th choice of gate.

“The first corner here is really hectic and my bike must have got damaged; I was having to make adjustments from the first lap but I still managed to move forward from 15th to 10th before the bike stopped. I was feeling my injuries from a crash last week during the second race, so I rode a steady race to finish ninth.”

Team-mate Clement Desalle was even more unfortunate as the errors of other put him out of contention on the opening lap of each GP moto after a solid ninth place in qualification.

A number of neighbouring riders at the gate anticipated the start in the opening GP moto and the Belgian inevitably flinched also in the tense atmosphere of the start. His front wheel was stuck in the gate for several seconds, and once free he faced a long hard chase to finish 18th. In race two another rider crashed into him on the opening lap; he fortunately avoided serious injury but was forced to retire from the race and is now thirteenth in the championship standings.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Desalle, and I was pretty unlucky in both races. On Saturday I qualified in ninth position, which gave me a decent gate but at the start of the first race the gate didn’t drop so fast and some riders anticipated the start. I followed them and was blocked behind my gate; it took me so much time to get free that I could only come back to 18th. The second race was even worse; there was a crash during the opening lap just before a jump and somebody hit me from behind when I braked. I was forced to retire and feel pretty sore but the medical examinations have revealed no broken bones.”