Ten years separated the previous FIM Motocross World Championship Grand Prix in Russia and the fresh eleventh round of sixteen in the ’12 series but the passion for the sport burns bright in this corner of the globe as a massive 45,000 fans turned out at Semigorje. Floride Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle was the main man as the Brit rushed back from bad starts to pass most of the MX2 field and finish second overall for a ninth spray of champagne this season.
Gnarly, rutty, technical and jumpy; the compact new track at the location 300 miles east of Moscow was hit by torrential rain on Saturday but then sweltered under a heat wave on Sunday. The terrain dried and formed into a technical and challenging feast of bumps and lines and the riders attacked the course with relish.
The spectator banks heaved under the strain and Searle was one of the main action draws as he fought back from his poor launches from the gate – even a slip on the second corner of the second moto – and a dodgy stomach to overtake the majority of his MX2 rivals as if they were in another race. It was a confident performance against the odds and effective damage limitation as main title rival Jeffrey Herlings went 1-1. The gap in the championship stands at 51 points with a maximum of 250 still waiting to be grabbed.
“It feels good to be second because I knew it would be tough today,” he said. “I had decent lines and was doing alright but it is getting annoying with my luck this year. Something has to happen for that point gap to change majorly because Jeffrey and I are mainly there every week. I’ve been in the top three every moto apart from those that I’ve DNF-ed with a problem. It’s hard to take. I just hope some of the luck that has gone against me turns around.”
Elsewhere Latvian GP winner and Searle’s team-mate Joel Roelants rode steady for fourth position overall and Monster Energy Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus was seventh in the MX2 class only days before an op to remove a screw from his scaphoid.
In the premier MX1 class Team CP377 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel ran the ‘claw’ into fourth place on the final results sheet and fellow Frenchman Gautier Paulin filled seventh spot.
Big shout to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Mel Pocock who has now won all six of the motos run so far in the European EMX2 Championship; the main feeder class to GP racing. The twenty year old Brit is on course for a perfect season but has another four rounds to string out that 100% victory record.
After a long eastern European trek through Latvia and Russia in the space of two weeks the teams and riders double-timed-it out of Semigorje Sunday night to start the journey back west. For most a leisurely roll to the Czech Republic is the order of play with the fast and slick Loket circuit hosting round twelve in two weeks.
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Images by Milagro