Crendon Fastrack Honda’s Tommy Searle extended his lead in the ACU British championship with a gritty ride to second overall at the historic Foxhill track on Saturday.Then on Sunday went 4-3 at the MX Nationals at Hawkstone.
With heavy rain the day before the Foxhill event turning the valley circuit into a tricky track to ride, Searle used his experience to master the conditions for a calculated performance, where many of his rivals hit trouble.
In the opening moto, Searle quickly put his Crendon Fastrack Honda CRF450R into third place and set a comfortable pace chasing down title rivals Harri Kullas and Dylan Walsh. When Walsh crashed out, Searle inherited second place but with the demanding circuit causing him some arm pump issues he couldn’t put up a fight for the win.
As the circuit had become even more rutted for the second race, Searle was quickly in contention after overtaking former champ Evgeny Bobryshev, and tried to attack the leading duo. He came within three seconds of the winner, bringing the Honda home in third place for second overall. But he extended his series lead to ten points.
He said: “I had a second and a third for second overall, and I pulled out a few more points in the lead of the championship, so I am quite happy with that. In the first race the track was rutty and grippy in some places, but in parts was like ice where the chalk came through. I struggled with the track in the opening race and had some arm pump so second was a good finish.
“In the second race I passed Bobryshev and tried to attack, but I lost my rhythm and let the leaders get away. I regrouped and came back withing three seconds of the win. I just waited too late. But I’ll come out swinging for round five.”
It was a disappointing day for the team’s rookie MX2 rider Jay Hague who tried his best to race despite feeling ill and totally drained of energy. He bravely rode in the opening moto and despite a poor start and feeling sapped of energy, fought to 15th place. But a decision was taken to withdraw him from the event to let him make a full recovery. The team’s other MX1 rider, Jake Nicholls, is now back on a bike after his recent broken shoulder blade and plans to be back in action at the next round of the series, Blaxhall on August 8.
Just one day after extending his ACU British championship lead at the tough Foxhill track, Tommy Searle and the Crendon Fastrack Honda crew made the overnight trip to contest day two of the MX Nationals championship at Hawkstone Park – one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. And the historic track was made more tricky by overnight rain.
Riders who hadn’t contested the first day at Hawksone were already at a disadvantage as they were not only out of contention for the overall – as scores from both days count – but pole position priority was given to qualifying from the first day. So Searle had an outside gate for the start rather than the preferred choice towards the centre.
But using the power of his Honda CRF450R, he got a great jump off the line and despite having to go around the outside of the corner, ended up in a strong fourth place. He quickly passed Martin Barr for third then battled with Harri Kullas for third. Searle couldn’t quite match the Estonian so took fourth.
Second time out Searle exited the first turn in sixth place but quickly made some decisive passes and moved up to third place. He tried to catch up to the leading duo but eventually brought the Crendon Fastrack Honda home in third.
Searle said: “I obviously raced yesterday so it’s been a long weekend of hard work. Especially as the rain had made the track tricky but the conditions ended up being pretty good.
“I got fourth and third and I felt better in second race. I seemed to take some time to warm up. Then towards the end of the second moto I ran out of steam a bit. There have been lots of races but now we have a few weeks off so it’s time to knuckle down for the last half of the championships.”