Crendon Fastrack Honda’s Tommy Searle moved into the lead of the ACU British motocross championship with a gritty and determined ride to third overall at Lyng in Norfolk, in front of a 4000-strong sold-out crowd which marked the return of spectators being allowed back in to events for the first time in more than a year.
And in the MX2 class, his team-mate Jay Hague was elated after taking a third place in the final moto in one of the best rides of his career.
The MX1 class saw Tommy Searle end the day on the podium and taking the red plate after two hard motos on the roughening track. The first race saw him bunched up in the first corner with a gaggle of top riders, and round the first lap in seventh. He worked hard and took his Honda CRF450R to an eventual fifth place finish.
In race two, he was quickly on the tail of leaders Jeffrey Herlings and Ben Watson, two full-time MXGP riders having wildcard rides in the series. Searle rode with maturity and speed to follow them home for third place, good enough for third overall behind the pair and, of course, the lead in the championship.
Tommy Searle said: “To end up on the podium and take the red plate, what more can you ask for. I’m happy enough with that! The bike was so good all day, with a great suspension set-up which is so important here. The engine felt brilliant and I improved my starts, too. So no complaints, I’m really happy.
“I had a fifth in the first race but then came back with a third. I don’t think I rode very well in the first race. But in the second I found my rhythm and had Jeffrey and Ben in front of me. I expected them to be fast on a track like this. The track was so demanding, the roughest I’ve ever seen it here.”
The MX2 opening race started with Jay Hague being wiped out in a spectacular multi-bike pile up in the circuit’s fearsome bombhole when one rider went down and took several others with him, including the Crendon Fastrack Honda rookie. Hague remounted virtually last and rounded the first lap near the back of the field.
But he put on a terrific charge through the pack, despite the track being very difficult to make passes on. He took 11th place after passing 20 of his rivals.
The second race was a stunner as Hague didn’t have the best reaction as the gate fell, but used the power of his Honda CRF250R to quickly make up ground on the long start straight and exited the first corner in third place. After fending off a challenge for third, he pushed hard to take second place but couldn’t quite make the move. So third place in the moto was a great result, and it gave him sixth overall but an impressive second overall in the MX2 Experts class.
Jay Hague said: “I didn’t get the best start in the first moto and got caught up in a crash in the bombhole. I came around the first lap in 31st place and managed to get back to 11th so was happy with my riding.
“But the second moto was amazing as I was third off the start and managed to bring it home in third. I’m over the moon with that.
“It’s been a long time coming and hopefully I can keep the ball rolling now. I now know I have the speed to run in the top three and there’s no reason I can’t do it again. I have to thank the team and all the people who came to support me. It makes my day when they are all here for me.”
Team manager, triple world 500 champ Dave Thorpe said: “What a great day for the team with some fantastic performances on a really rough track. Tommy Searle showed he is a class act, leaving with the red plate in the championship. And everyone is so pleased at how Jay Hague came back from that first race crash to show real determination and end up with a third place. It was a job well done for the riders and team.”
The team’s second MX1 rider, Jake Nicholls, was a non-starter as he is still not fully recovered from an injury in pre-season testing. He is back riding again and aims to be back racing soon when he’s fully recovered.