Tommy Searle interview - We can Win the MXoN!!
Interview Tuesday 30th August 2011 By Geoff Meyer
Searle is programmed to ride in the MX1 class up against Antonio Cairoli, Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey, but things could change as the event comes closer, maybe a move to the Open class where he will come up against Ryan Villopoto, Jeffrey Herlings and Gautier Paulin.
We decided to give Tommy a call and ask him about his 450cc victory and how he felt on the bigger bike.
MXlarge: Tommy, had you ridden a 450cc before?
Searle: I rode a little bit in America because I thought it would be good for me and Mitch (Payton) was kind enough to get me one, but in Europe this is the first time, I mean I had a little ride at the start of the year. I really enjoyed it as soon as I got on it I felt at home with it. It felt a little too fast at first, but I got used to it really quickly.
MXlarge: What is so good about the bike?
Searle: To be honest I didn't have it that long and we just put a few things on it and it feels amazing. We got the 2012 model at Matterley Basin (a week ago), I just went and rode it and it felt amazing. I mean I was a little nervous, because I had never raced it and we just raced it last weekend and won pretty easy. The bike is just good; there is nothing bad I can say about it.
MXlarge: You see guys like Pourcel and Frossard who look so good on the bigger bikes and also Herlings rode the 350cc a couple of times in Belgian races and was super fast. What does it take to ride one of these bikes well?
Searle: You just have to learn how to ride one and I know how to ride a 450, just from riding bikes and watching guys who ride them well. You just have to ride it in the right way, but if you ride it silly then it might bite you, you just need to take your time on it, then you can be good on one.
MXlarge: How did it feel last weekend?
Searle: Going into the weekend I was a little nervous, because I hadn't raced a 450cc before, but I just rode it really easily and I won easy, like 40 seconds, that gives me a lot of confidence, because guys like Brad Anderson and some of the others are fast guys, I mean Brad got 5th overall at the British Grand Prix, so he isn't slow. I really, really enjoyed riding that bike.
MXlarge: Have you ridden the 250cc again and how did that feel?
Searle: Now I got back on a 250F and at first it felt a lot slower, but I got used to it. The suspension was a little softer and the motor is just slower.
MXlarge: What class will you ride at the MXoN?
Searle: I am not sure MX1 or MX3.
MXlarge: Do you feel like you are ready now for the MXoN?
Searle: You know that is why we did this race last weekend, at first I wasn't sure to do it, but it's been a good experience, I have a race now under my belt and I will be more comfortable next time I ride it. I mean I won't panic if I get a bad start because I know I can ride it well.
MXlarge: Do you feel like you might have a shot at even winning your class in France?
Searle: I will go into St Jean and if I get a start I can't see why I can't win the race, there is no reason to think I can't.
MXlarge: Is it possible to race the last two rounds of the FIM World MX1 Championship, was that ever an option?
Searle: It's possible if I want to, I mean a couple of people have said to me if I want to do it, I mean not JJ (team owner), but James Dobb talked about it. I am contracted to race the FIM World MX2 Championship, so I will finish that business and then go to the Motocross of Nations. I mean it might be good to race it in Italy, because both Fermo and St Jean are hard pack, but I will just keep doing what I am doing and then go to St Jean and race the 450cc machine.
MXlarge: Looking at all the other teams Team Great Britain have a great shot at winning it again. Have you let yourself think about that possibility?
Searle: I am thinking that, I mean we have a really, really strong team. I mean Dean is winning the AMA Championship pretty easy and I've won two GP's at St Jean, so I ride well there and Brad showed at the British GP that he is quick and if he gets a start he will be up there, and if he doesn't get a start he will fight his way through the pack. We really have a shot, but there are a lot of teams with good riders and it all takes a little luck, but we have a shot and I hope we get some luck.