Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tommy Searle was sixth in the Italian round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Imola with Alessandro Lupino eighth for Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki.
The Englishman defied the pain from recent hand and rib injuries, putting in two solid rides to finish the first moto eighth and the second moto seventh. The basis of his brave showing were two superb starts as the smooth power of the KX450-SR launched him out of the gate and through the first turn near the head of the pack each time. He quickly settled into eighth place in the first moto and battled defiantly with the other leaderboard men throughout the thirty-minute-plus-two-lap race to record his best result since the opening round of the series in March. An even better start in race two saw him narrowly miss the holeshot award, holding an initial second place before settling into a secure seventh place to the chequered flag.
Tommy Searle: “I’m really happy with sixth place as the past eight weeks have been really difficult for me; I’ve been really downcast, being unable to practice due to my injuries when I got this opportunity to ride the factory bike. It’s been difficult and I had no expectations coming into this race; I just wanted to do my job as best I could and give the team a presence. Once I get into the rhythm I don’t feel too much pain but I miss the intensity of racing at this level as I can’t train between the races. The bike made it easy for me; it is so good and makes a big difference.”
Alessandro Lupino, determined to put in a strong ride for his native Italian fans, missed his usual good start in race one after tangling with other riders on the opening lap but he then rode a determined race to advance from seventeenth to ninth. A better start in race two saw him ninth on the opening lap and he again showed leaderboard pace to maintain his ranking to the finish to secure eighth overall.
Alessandro Lupino: “Finally I had a good feeling again this weekend; I had fun on the bike and that’s so important. When I tested the latest evolution of our bike on Friday I was already confident for the weekend. There’s now four races to go with the MX of Nations; we’ll take it race after race as the championship ranking was over due to my injury. It was really tough to recover from the injury in Russia, and in the second moto I felt some pain; I had pushed a lot in the first one and got cramp in my right leg towards the end. The doctor told me that it will take time as a nerve has probably been affected in the crash, but I’m just happy to be back on the bike again and enjoying life.”