Tommy Searle had an extremely up-and-down weekend in the mud of Mantova. There were highs and lows, which left him in eighteenth overall after a thirteenth in moto two. Searle is still eager to move forward though and knows there is more to come. What is it going to take to get him comfortably inside of the top-ten again? That is covered extensively in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: Kind of an okay weekend, I guess. You got two results on the board. Actually, no. Close to getting two results on the board…
Tommy Searle: I did get a result, but not a point-scoring result.
Good things [sarcasm]. It could have been good. There were good signs. It did not end up how you want, obviously, which has kind of been the story all year. Positive? Negative? I do not know how you look at it.
Positive that I am healthy. I feel we made a little bit of improvement, but the team… In the break I did not get to test personally, but they went and tested with Christophe Pourcel. We sort of thought they had gone a good direction with the settings, but I raced last week at the British Championship and found out that it was not right for me. We went back in the second race there to the settings that I preferred, but we did not have them available here this weekend for me to go back to.
We were searching a lot, because I had only a set-up that I had never ridden before. I just struggled to ride the bike. I train a lot. I ride a lot and I know how to ride a bike, but yesterday I felt like I had got my bike for Christmas. Not even last Christmas, like the Christmas just gone. It felt like that was my first bike and they had just said, “Here, mate. Have a go at this. Late start. You are twenty-nine now but have a go. There is a race coming up in Portugal in a bit. Have a go there." I have had a go and it did not go very well.
Today we found a little bit of improvement. We put the fork back, so that was better, but we have just been searching. The weather helped us a little bit I think when it slowed the track down. It was just not a great weekend, but I am healthy. I can move on. The team sort of know the direction that works for me now, I think, so hopefully positive things… They can go back and we can come out in a better direction in Portugal.
The Pourcel set-up that you ran in the first moto at Canada Heights, that was the one you had this weekend? You can move things a little bit, obviously, but that was like your base, I guess.
Yeah, it was the base, but that was all we had, sort of thing. The truck left and that was what was in it. We had every set of suspension. The truck was on that base and it just did not work for me. Yeah, on paper, it sounded like that was the right direction. It is just not for me. I think we would have been better off me going to France, which is what I wanted to do, to do the testing and then come to the race.
They obviously worked hard with those guys, but it was not for me. We know that now. I think they have a little bit more information of what I like on a bike. Hopefully we can use that, move forward and just get the bike where I want it to be… Where I can actually feel good on it and race the bike like I know how and like I train to be able to do.
Seeing as the truck is going to go straight from here to Portugal and then back to France, does that mean you are not going to be able to get the settings you had in moto two last week until the next break?
No. Apparently, they just said the truck is going back. It passes Toulouse to go to Portugal. Next week should be better. Hopefully we can start off in a better situation. They are working hard. They are still learning the bike. They are clever people, but sometimes we have just gone the wrong direction for me and did coming into this GP. We learned from it. It cost us a weekend here, but I am healthy and there is plenty of the season to go. Hopefully we can improve from now and have a good weekend in Portugal.
Do you think it would help having Bobby here and racing every week, because then the team would get more data, or do you think it would just confuse things more and take the limelight off of you a little bit?
No, I would love Bobby to be back, because it would be two of us. He says how it is as well, so having two people there being able to voice an opinion… It would be a lot better for me to have Bobby here. Hopefully he can be back soon.
Positive thing: Ending on a positive, or trying to… Before the first moto problem, which I guess was a bike problem. You were smoking, right?
Yeah. In the first moto I was actually having a good race. I got up to tenth position at one point, then with the conditions they were really heavy. Obviously, a lot of bikes had trouble. I just lost all the water. I did not want to jump the jumps, because I could feel the bike was about to let go. I just had to nurse it home. Unfortunately, I obviously could not jump the jumps. I lost a lot of positions. I should have had a 10-13, so it would not have been a terrible weekend, but instead I only scored points in the second race.
The positive thing that we are ending on… Say you had gone 10-13 on the bike that is not made for you or that you do not particularly get on with, that is good. That means that once you are comfortable you can start pushing a top five, like we have said all along.
Yeah. I feel all right. I am working hard. I am fit. I am healthy. I can ride a bike. I am not actually bad on one of these motorbikes.
You sure? If this was your first ride on a new bike after Christmas, I am not sure.
I felt like I got the bike for Christmas, but sometimes I actually feel I am actually half sensible on one. I just need to have a go next week. It was not all bad this weekend. The guys at the team learned the direction that I need to be going, so hopefully we can move in that way and have better GPs the next few.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX