Tommy Searle wins in France

Paulin is looking great on the 450 - Image by Ray Chuss

The Kawasaki riders have had another successful weekend, and they gained several podium results in the International events of Lacapelle Marival (France) and Hawkstone Park (Great Britain).

Christophe Pourcel and Tommy Searle respectively won the MX1 and MX2 classes in France, while Gautier Paulin and Xavier Boog claimed a second and a third overall in Great Britain.
On both locations the weather was perfect, and the riders enjoyed riding on rough and dry tracks for the two main pre-season events. Having his first appearance with team CP377, Christophe Pourcel won two of the three heats in Lacapelle and secured the overall win.

One of his main opponents was Tommy Searle, who performed impressively on his KX250F; Tommy finished second and two times third in the 450 class, to win the MX2 class with a second position overall.

Fifth was Joel Roelants, who improved his results all day long with two seventh places and a fifth position for his first race with team Floride Kawasaki.

On the sandy layout of Hawkstone Park, Gautier Paulin battled all day long with Clement Desalle; being the runner-up two times, he didn’t finish the super final – where the MX2 riders start ten seconds before the MX1 riders – after a collision with an MX2 rider.

His teammate Xavier Boog also got a podium result with a seventh and a third place in the MX1 races, but Boog struggled in the super final with an eleventh position, after having had a crash.

Next weekend Paulin and Boog will enter the opening round of the French Elite Championship in Romagné, alongside Sébastien Pourcel who will make his first appearance of the season; Tommy Searle and Joel Roelants will enter the first round of the Dutch series in Oss.

Christophe Pourcel: “The track in Lacapelle was perfect, it was technical with deep ruts, slippery during the third heat and for us it was a good test for the bike. We had already fixed good settings, and I got the best lap in the timed practice session. I made a small mistake during the first start as the ground was too soft behind the gate and I came third in the first corner. Bill was riding fast, but I passed him after a couple of laps to win the race. In the second heat I got the holeshot. Tommy was fast but I kept him four seconds behind me; the last heat was more difficult as we had the sun in our eyes. I rode carefully and we had a good final race with Soubeyras. He was fast and we had some good passes together. Finally he won but that was not so important as I took the overall win. Now I will not do any race before the first GP. We’ll go testing on different tracks to be ready for Valkenswaard.”

Gautier Paulin: “It was another good weekend for me, and I was happy to race on such a technical layout with some nice jumps and deep ruts. It was my first visit to Hawkstone Park, and we had perfect conditions with nice weather and a rough track. In both MX1 races we had some nice battles with Clement; I had two great starts, and I had a good rhythm. Clement won twice but I was happy with my speed and my riding. We both lost time with the lappers even though it was a very long track. I retired in the last heat mixing the MX1 and MX2 riders, as I collided with an MX2 rider and damaged the bike. Next week we’ll have different conditions in the French Elite. It will another opportunity for us to make some adjustments to the settings of the bike even though we already have a very good bike.”

Xavier Boog: “I have mixed feelings after this event, even after I’ve gotten a podium result in the MX1 class. In the first race I had some troubles with my clutch and stalled the engine during the first lap, and then I had to come back from far. I was fourth during most of the second heat, and I lost too much time behind Simpson. I had a bad rhythm, and when I passed Simpson, Clément and Gautier were far away. I had the holeshot of the MX1 riders in the final heat, and I passed a couple of MX2 riders during the first lap; then I had more troubles to gain positions, made a couple of mistakes and finally crashed.”

Tommy Searle: “I’m really happy with my speed, and I think that I’m fit and strong and it was a good race today. The track was dry and rough, perfect conditions, but I never like racing with the 450 because of the start. Our bike is good at the moment: I was fifth at one start and it’s not too bad. I’m really happy with the team and the work everyone has done; it’s a good base for the season. There’s a long time before the first GP but I’m confident; I was happy with my riding today. Now I will go to The Netherlands to do some sand riding before the first GP. We have to see with the team which races I will do before Valkenswaard.” - Image by Sarah Gutierrez

Joel Roelants: “I was surprised to post the third fastest lap time, usually I’m not so good in qualification! The races were not as good, as I was too tense and after half of a lap in the first race I got arms pumped. In the second heat I twisted my wrist, and the last race was better with a fifth place. Racing against the 450 is always difficult and I couldn’t find my rhythm; every year it’s the same for me during my first race, but I know what I have to do and next race will be better.”

Maxime Desprey: “I was too stressed this weekend, and I didn’t find the good lines and a good rhythm so I got my arms pumped. I discovered the last version of the 250 Pro Circuit Kawasaki; it’s a fantastic bike but I still need to practice more with this bike to get used to it. I know what I have to do this week, to prepare the opening round of the French Elite series next weekend.”

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