Tommy Searle consolidated his hold on second place in the FIM World MX2 Motocross series with a strong fourth place in the Benelux GP at the Lierop sand track close to the Dutch-Belgian border.
The Englishman, brought up on grassland and hardpack tracks, always knew that the GP in the unrelenting sand of the Dutch circuit would be one of the most difficult of the year, but, as he had done at the opening round of the series in similar conditions, fought bravely to secure two fourth places behind a trio of sand-riding experts. Maintaining a sustainable pace throughout the first moto he retained fourth place throughout and repeated the performance in race two after holding second place in the early laps. His chances of clinching the title are now fairly remote, but the Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit leader takes a 38-point advantage over the third-placed rider in the series to the final two rounds.
Valentin Teillet of the Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki team rode a decisive opening moto in the deep sandy conditions which are alien to young French riders to fight his way forward to ninth place before surrendering two places late in the race to local experts. After a less satisfactory start in race two he found himself in sixteenth place, but never gave up battling to gain two places before the end of the moto in the difficult conditions.
Young teammate Dylan Ferrandis had made a lightening start in the first moto to hold down third place for three laps and he was still running top six in the difficult conditions until he suffered a heavy crash in which the bike landed on his back. His start in race two was not quite as good but the teenage rookie held down sixth place early on and, despite pain from the first race incident, battled hard for tenth at the chequered flag to retain his eighth place in the series rankings.
Tommy Searle: “I don’t really like the sand and struggled here, but four and four is not so bad. I didn’t ride so much in the sand this year, maybe I will have to come more often to be more ready than I was this weekend. In the second moto I felt better; I got a good start, put in some good laps but then I suddenly lost ten seconds in one lap. It’s always tough here, and I will come back soon in the Netherlands to prepare the Motocross of Nations.”
Valentin Teillet: “I didn’t have a good feeling with the track, and didn’t feel confident this weekend; my goal was to score top fifteen results here, and that’s what I did. For sure I will have higher goals for the next two races, but for me it was important to finish both races here.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “It was my first experience here in Lierop, and it was even harder than I expected. My first start was good and I was happy to be third for the first few laps, but then I made a mistake and dropped back to sixth. I still had a good rhythm but then I had a big crash and the bike landed on my back. I lost a lot of time so there was no point to continue to the end of the race. I had pain in my back during the second race, but I managed to finish tenth which is not so bad for a first experience here.”