He may have been the fastest rider on the track, but cruel luck robbed Briton Tommy Searle of victory at Sunday’s scorching Italian GP at Fermo.
Two crashes, a clash with Jeffrey Herlings and an engine blow-up meant he slipped back in the points race and is now third.
He now tails Italian GP double winner Jeffrey Herlings by 45 points and is five behind Herlings’ KTM team-mate Jeremy Van Horebeek.
It should have been Searle’s weekend. He easily won the qualifying race on Saturday but was taken down in a big pile up on the opening lap on Sunday.
He remounted and pulled through well until his engine blew up.
Second time out, Herlings made a good start but instantly swerved to the inside, smashing into Tommy Searle.
Searle went down, and Herlings was slowed but managed to scrape through. With Yamaha’s Michael Leib making most of the front running, Herlings finally made it through to the front.
Searle had a storming ride from last up to second, but at the finish was fuming about Herlings’ antics. Searle confronted Herlings’ team manager Stefan Everts about the clash.
Searle immediately left for the airport but tweeted: “Enjoyed that race from waaay last to second. Got taken down going into the first turn but if it’s already time to play like that, let’s play.”
Herlings said: “I got a good start and was out front but Tommy kept on the gas and he hit me full gas. I don’t really know who’s fault it was.
“I had spokes missing and didn’t have a front brake. To win here like that with no brake is very special.
“I hope I can keep it clean in races with Tommy and have a clean season from now on.”
Leib took second overall, riding as replacement for injured Arnaud Tonus. He will now go back Stateside unless a deal can be done to keep him in GPs.
Third was Van Horebeek, while Tommy’s Kawaskai team-mate Joel Roelants failed to score after he crashed in race one and had cincussion.
Max Anstie took eighth overall while Nicholls was 13th, courtesy of a storming first race fourth place. He hurt his wrist second time out.
Mel Pocock took 16th but Elliott Banks-Browne didn’t start as he hurt his hand on Saturday.
In the MX1 class, Frenchman Christophe Pourcel took the overall win from Italian hero Tony Cairoli who retains the world championship lead.
Pourcel won the first race from Gautier Paulin while Cairoli pulled through to third.
Second time out Cairoli pulled a holeshot and stayed in front to the flag, from Pourcel and Clement Desalle.
Yamaha’s title hope Stephen Frossard pulled out of the first race in pain with his injured knee.
Shaun Simpson ended up 15th overall. He had a solid ride to eighth in race one, but retired from race two.
Yamaha’s Alfie Smith took 21st while Nathan Parker took his KTM to 28th overall.
Click for bigger pics.
Open Gallery35 Images
Images by Adam Duckworth
1 377 Pourcel, Christophe FRA FFM Kawasaki 25 22 47
2 222 Cairoli, Antonio ITA FMI KTM 20 25 45
3 25 Desalle, Clement BEL FMB Suzuki 18 20 38
4 21 Paulin, Gautier FRA FFM Kawasaki 22 15 37
5 9 de Dycker, Ken BEL FMB KTM 14 18 32
6 777 Bobryshev, Evgeny RUS MFR Honda 15 16 31
7 22 Strijbos, Kevin BEL FMB KTM 11 14 25
8 19 Philippaerts, David ITA FMI Yamaha 12 13 25
9 121 Boog, Xavier FRA FFM Kawasaki 16 7 23
10 4 Leok, Tanel EST EMF Suzuki 10 10 20
1 84 Herlings, Jeffrey NED KNMV KTM 25 25 50
2 170 Leib, Michael USA AMA Yamaha 20 20 40
3 89 van Horebeek, Jeremy BEL FMB KTM 22 18 40
4 911 Tixier, Jordi FRA FFM KTM 14 16 30
5 17 Butron, Jose ESP RFME KTM 12 14 26
6 23 Charlier, Christophe FRA FFM Yamaha 13 12 25
7 22 Ferrandis, Dylan FRA FFM Kawasaki 16 9 25
8 6 Anstie, Max GBR AMA Honda 10 13 23
9 100 Searle, Tommy GBR ACU Kawasaki 0 22 22
10 77 Lupino, Alessandro ITA FMI Husqvarna 7 15 22