Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team
Back in 2012, on a warm and sunny day in England, Steve Dixon Kawasaki rider Tommy Searle powered to a Grand Prix victory at the Matterley Basin circuit in England. Beating defending world MX2 champion Jeffrey Herlings in a shoot-out, the British rider created a little piece of his own legacy in the sport.
Now, six years later, and out of the MX2 class, Searle is going to his home Grand Prix with a lot less pressure, but also a lot less expectations. Injury, after injury have really stalled the career of the talented British rider, and now somewhat fit, he will go into this weekends race with a solid performance on his mind.
“I think it is helpful (racing at home),” Searle said. “It’s home, and I like the track. I always like racing at home, and it’s helpful for sure. I would rather do that than fly to some track I don’t know. There isn’t much pressure, because it isn’t like I am racing for a win. I just want to do my best and it is nice to be in front of the British fans. Hopefully I can put on a good race and give them something to cheer about. I have been out so long, there can’t be pressure. If you put any rider who has been out for 18 months, and jump on the podium, that isn’t possible these days. Steve has been around a long time and he knows what is takes and the team has been great.”
The circuit hidden in the valley is a track Searle just loves to race, and his memories of his Grand Prix victory there are as good now as when he won it in 2012. Being the man of the moment, with the adulation of so many fans is something he will never forget.
“Matterley Basin is special, for the fans, they can see from the start to the finish. From a racer’s perspective the track has everything you ask for, the elevation and the jumps. The 2012 Grand Prix was one of the best days of my life. Everyone came out to see the battle and I came out on top, a day I will never forget. Racing in front of the home crowd, they just give you the encouragement and you feel like you want to do it for them as well.”
But now the hard work of once again putting in a performance to give his countrymen something to cheer about. With a lack of bike time, and still recovering from his injuries Searle can’t expect to be winning, or even making the podium, but maybe for a moment he can show what he is capable of.