Tommy Searle fought through the pain barrier to take the British MX1 title while British-born Kiwi Dylan Walsh romped to a double win to claim the MX2 crown at Landrake in Cornwall on Sunday.
For Searle, it has been damage limitation for half the rounds as he has had a succession of injuries. He arrived at the rain-hit Cornish track with an injured arm that kept him out of the last two GPs. He had a 35-point lead over KTM’s Shaun Simpson, who as expected took a double win.
Searle quickly led the first moto from holeshot man Lewis Tombs but Simpson was quickly through to the lead. Searle eventually drifted back to fourth place as Harri Kullas and Jake Millward came past and set off in a bid to catch Simpson. Tombs slipped off and remounted with a bent gear lever. He lost a place to Mel Pocock in fifth while Brad Anderson took seventh, out on a 450 after racing all year on a 250 two-stroke.
But fourth for Searle was enough to clinch the title, marking his last ride for the BOS Kawasaki team. He said: “My goal was to stay out of trouble and get it sewn up in the first moto. It’s been a season where I’ve been in injured in so many rounds, so I’m so pleased to get it done.
“I had some good battles early on with Shaun Simpson until I got hurt. And if he hadn’t had a double DNF at Desertmartin, the championship would be very different.”
Searle bravely decided to venture out in race two despite being in discomfort, but this time didn’t get such a good start. He was just inside the top ten and eventually worked up to seventh place.
At the front, Simpson set the early pace, chased by Kullas and Elliott Banks-Browne, who had failed to score in race one. Simpson made a mistake and crashed into the fence, which allowed Banks-Browne to capitalise on the carnage and take the lead.
The Geartec Husky man, who had missed most of the season through injuries, held a strong pace at the front but Kullas eventually came within striking distance. But the Brit battled back and held off the Cab Screeen Honda man to the flag, ending the season very much on a high with his first Maxxis win of the year.
Simpson eventually came through the pack to third place, which gave him the overall win from Kullas and Jake Millward, whose sixth place in moto two gave him yet another podium. Ando took a great fourth place from Tombs, who had learned four days earlier he wasn’t being retained by the Honda team for 2020.
Simpson won more motos and took more overall wins than any other rider in the series but his double mechanical DNF in Ireland meant he finished second in the series behind Searle.
Millward took third overall on the day for third in the championship, a stunning debut MX1 season on the Chanmbers Husky. Kullas’ great day in Cornwall saw him overtake Mel Pocock for fourth in the championship.
In the MX2 title hunt, Dylan Walsh took a strong double win to clinch not only his first British title but also Husky’s first MX2 British championship. And it was a double celebration for the Revo team as his team-mate Alvin Ostlund took second overall in the championship, thanks to fourth overall on the day, with Honda’s Josh Gilbert third in the series with a third place at Landrake, his local track.
“It’s been a perfect day. Just perfect. I qualified first and got two holeshots,” said Walsh. “In the first race I rode a little bit tight and nervous. In the second one I made a small mistake on the second lap and got passed but I got straight back into the lead and won both motos. It feels great to be British champion.”
The event marked the return of Conrad Mewse, the 2018 champion who was absent from the third round at Canada Heights when he broke his wrist. Mewse had only ridden four times and was obviously race rusty, but still took second overall for the Hitachi KTM squad.
The first moto saw Mewse in third place as he tailed winner Walsh and Ostlund over the line. Liam Knight took a distant fourth, with Yamaha’s Martin Barr fifth while Gilbert struggled to get on the pace and took sixth.
Moto two saw Walsh once again lead from the first lap and take an easy win and the title. With Ostlund suffering from a bad start, it left Mewse second while Gilbert moved up into third.
Gilbert had made suspension changes since the first moto and was riding with far more confidence as he reeled in Mewse, made the pass and edged away to take a well deserved second place finish.
Estonian wild card rider Jorgen Mattias Taviku had a great British debut as he took fourth place in the moto from Knight, Ostlund and Taylor Hammal. Taviku took ninth in the opening race so finished a creditable sixth overall, with Knight fifth overall from Ostlund just off the podium.
In the MXY2 series, two-stroke man Joel Rizzi clinched the title in the first moto with a stunning win after he caught and passed leader Kyle McNicol who took second from Preston Williams.
Rizzi’s rival Ike Carter had a bike issue on the start line, and returned to the paddock to have it repaired. He missed the start and got off last but stormed through the pack until he was disqualified. As he’s lined up on the start, he should have pulled into the mechanic’s area rather than going to the holding area hence his disqualification.
Carter made amends in moto two by setting the fastest lap of the race and taking the win from Rizzi by less than a second, with McNicol third 46 seconds back. Rizzi took the overall win and the championship, with McNicol second overall on the day from Louie Kessel. Rizzi clinched the title from Carter and McNicol.