Tommy Searle won the MX2 at the French round of the FIM World Motocross Championship at the weekend (Pic: Ray Archer/KTM)
FIM world Motocross: Tommy (Gun) Searle leads the French revolution
17 June 2008 17:27
Tommy Searle had a landmark day in France on Sunday as the Red Bull KTM star took both motos for the overall and now heads towards the halfway part of the season as the World Championship leader.
On a day when the best in the world struggled to stay on board, Tommy rode two rock-solid motos as championship rivals Tony Cairoli and Tyla Rattray both had incident-filled days.
In moto one Tommy got out behind Shaun Simpson to lead the Grand Prix at St Jean D’Angley, as Tony and Tyla were picking up their bikes at the back of the field. For Tyla it was the start of a spirited fight back that brought the South African through to sixth on a track that lacked technical features, but for Tony, a split fuel tank meant the end of the race.
Up front, Searle made his way past Simpson and hung tight for the win, as Simpson held station behind, but a midrace mishap cost the young Scot almost a minute and dropped him down to 14th.
For moto two, the British duo again got out first and second, this time with Searle in the lead, but Cairoli was soon making headway. The normally flawless Sicilian was having a tough time of it, however Tony made his way into the lead early on, but almost immediately dropped his De Carli Yamaha, gifting the lead back to Tommy and allowing Rattray into second.
For once, Cairoli seemed shorn of his blinding pace, and he was unable to make any further headway, leading Simpson over the line as Tyla did his best to take the moto win.
Searle had it all under control, however, keeping it on two wheels for a landmark victory, and one that makes him a very real contender for the world crown.
It was a less than stellar day for the rest of the Brits, however, Simpson is still in the thick of the battle for the number four plate, but Stephen Sword, Carl Nunn, Jason Dougan and Elliot Banks-Browne could only log two points-scoring motos between them.
There was plenty of excitement in the big bike class, too as David Philippaerts seems keen to keep it interesting.
The series leader having a torrid time, coming from dead last to take 13th in moto one, then DNF’ing moto two after a coming together with Clement Desalle.
Up front, Sebastien Pourcel and Josh Coppins went one-two in both races, with the Frenchman winning the first as Josh ran through track markings which destroyed his back brake, but there was no doubting Pourcel’s claim to victory in the second.
For Josh, it marked only the second podium of a disappointing year, but the gritty Kiwi is now fully in the championship battle, and Pourcel is only a few points behind, with Ramon and De Dycker seemingly struggling to put a good run together.
With eight Grands Prix left, the MX1 championship is still wide open.
FIM World Motocross Championship
MX1 round 7 - St Jean D'Angley, France
1 Sebastien Pourcel - Kawasaki
2 Josh Coppins - Yamaha
3 Jonathan Barragan -
4 Steve Ramon - Suzuki
5 Max Nagl - KTM
6 Julien Bill - Honda
1 Philippaerts - 231
2 Ramon - 225
3 Coppins - 212
4 Pourcel - 201
5 De Dycker - 200
6 Barragan - 185
FIM World Motocross Championship
MX2 round 7 - St Jean D'Angley, France
1 Tommy Searle - KTM
2 Tyla Rattray - KTM
3 Anthony Boissiere - KTM
1 Searle - 283
2 Rattray - 279
3 Cairoli - 263