Consecutive Grands Prix in the UK and France helped CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle take a dive straight back into FIM MXGP racing after finally reaching a satisfactory level of fitness with the left wrist he broke in a scary first moto crash at the Thai round in March.
Britain’s most successful rider at the highest level since 2008 is now making promising gains in search of his first podium finish in the premier class amid talk of where the 25-year-old will be racing in 2015.
“It is difficult to come back when all those boys have been pushing and stepping things up,” he commented after round nine in St Jean D’Angely. “I’m a little bit off the leading pace but that is to be expected.”
“I know what I can do but I’m not doing it at the moment and it is down to a lack of sharpness with racing as well on these kinds of tracks,” he added. “You can practice as much as you want but until you get out into these kinds of sketchy bumps and ruts….you need to race your way back into these things.”
Searle was MX2 championship runner-up in 2008 and again in 2012 and has been a mainstay of the British Motocross of Nations team; the ‘longlist’ of candidates for the 2014 edition at Kegums in Latvia in September was released via a press release from the ACU over a week ago.
After a debut MXGP term in 2013 where he finished sixth and showed some promising signs on the KX450F, Searle began a fourth year with the French CLS set-up this season as the team switched from Pro Circuit support and started using WP suspension.
“I don’t think I am far away. I know I can be right with the riders that are on the podium now,” Searle continued. “I like Maggiora and I hope we can get some testing done because I was hurt pre-season and then right at the start so we are missing some work there. Our bike has a standard engine and nothing has been done to it! We are just behind with everything and it will take a bit of time but we will be there.”
The wrist break has naturally dented Searle’s stock when he was one of the high earners coming into MXGP at the end of 2012.
There has been talk that Kawasaki will ask CLS to focus on the MX2 class for 2015 with Dylan Ferrandis and Thomas Covington already under contract which could mean Searle having to look elsewhere to continue his association with the brand that has existed since he returned from the USA in 2010 and with whom he began his professional career from the Team Green set-up. “I’m not sure,” he commented when asked if CLS could be looking solely at MX2 and leaving Monster Energy KRT to own MXGP. “I think JJ [Luisetti, Team Owner] still wants to run a MXGP rider but it is down to Kawasaki.”