Red Bull KTM’s Tommy Searle made a solid return to the FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship last weekend at Arco di Trento but insists that he needs more race time to find his pre-season speed on the works 350SX-F and the Grand Prix of Europe this weekend will still be too soon to show any real potential.

Searle weathered the bumpy Pietramurata hard-pack to 14th and 13th last Sunday in what was just his second appearance in KTM colours since leaving Kawasaki after a four year period.

It was also his first competitive outing in the wake of just two days riding since recovering sufficiently from a fractured T5 vertebra.


“It went better than I expected because I’m still missing the feeling with the bike,” he said. “I’ve only been on it two days in six weeks and spent three weeks in a neck brace sitting on the sofa doing nothing so realistically people were wondering ‘why are you back already?’ 14th and 13th are not the results that I want but if I don’t do it then how can I get better?

“It is all very well riding and practicing out there in Italy with Tony but the GP tracks are so different, bumpy and difficult.”

The 25 year old now needs laps to prepare for what could be prosperous meetings in Spain and then his home Grand Prix at Matterley Basin on 10th and 24th of May respectively.

Searle memorably took victory at the Winchester course in 2012. For now he has to get through the European fixture at Valkenswaard at the weekend. “I haven’t ridden the sand since my injury and I’ll need to recover this week; my hands are so sore now,” he commented. “I would imagine Valkenswaard will be similar to this weekend but I will do my thing and get two motos in because I hadn’t managed that this season before Italy. I’m just building back up now and hope I can get challenging for a podium in England.”