Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle shook off sickness to race to a brave sixth in intense heat of the second round of the FIM MXGP Motocross Championship at Suphan Buri in central Thailand.
Credits: Stanley Leroux / Pascal Haudiquert
The British rider had been suffering with flu all week and even consulted the FIM doctor before racing, but once on track he showed tremendous spirit to consistently build his speed during the weekend. After a cautious opening he already set the seventh best time in timed practice and showed great resolve in the opening GP moto to charge from ninth to sixth as temperatures soared to around 40 degrees centigrade. Tommy again appeared capable of racing into the top six in race two, but a dislodged fuel line after he had advanced to ninth caused the Brit to stop to undertake emergency repairs, losing five places in the process. Despite the misfortune he finished the GP tenth overall and is now eighth in the series standings after two rounds.
Clement Desalle of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team once again defied the pain from a forearm fracture sustained three weeks ago to salvage six world championship points from sixteenth and twentieth moto results. The gritty Belgian had been content to keep his racing activity to a minimum during qualification, but showed great resolve in the opening GP moto to race alongside fully-fit riders for an eventual fifteenth place, just one a half minutes behind the winner. Race two proved to be more difficult and after again holding down fifteenth place during the early laps he eventually slackened his pace in the closing laps to cross the line twentieth. Clement now has three weeks to prepare for the next round of the series at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands on Easter Monday, March 28.
Tommy Searle: « I made a sixth in the first race, which was good considering I was sick when I came here to the track. In the second race I was racing ninth and was expecting to move forward, but the fuel inlet pipe came out from the tank and I got fuel in my face; I knew that if I didn’t stop the bike would have run out of fuel. So I had to stop and put in back on; I lost five places but overall I guess I have to be happy to go back to Europe safe, even though it would have been better to get another top ten result. It was hot, but in the second race I was so scared with the fuel that I didn’t push too hard. It was a difficult day.”
Clement Desalle: “I came here with the same spirit as in Qatar, and it’s really not easy to race like that after so many days of hard work in winter time. But that’s how it is; I came here to score a few points and I got a few more than in Qatar. It’s not easy to race when it’s so hot, and it was tough physically, especially in the second race, due I think to the anaesthetic. I had to be happy with five points in the first race, but in the second moto it was so difficult that I was so close to stopping four or five times…. I made two small mistakes, but the positive point is that my arm was not too painful and I know that I didn’t damage it. Honestly it was tough to recover from surgery, and then to fly so far twice for these two GPs, with some jetlag too, but I have no regrets about my decision; maybe these nine points will be important later in the season. Now I need some rest, and then I will listen to my body before getting back into physical training; for sure I will not be fit for Valkenswaard, but I just hope that I will be able to ride my bike one or two times before this third round.”
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