Interview: Tommy Searle – finally on the MXDN podium for team GB!

Tommy Searle has been so close so many times to getting GB on the podium at the MXDN but this year, despite a DNF with a mechanical in moto one, Searle re-grouped and got the fifth result GB need to get their first podium in 20 years!

It has been a tough season for Searle with injuries ruling him out for most of the year but the Englishmen is mentally strong, ended the season on the podium and is ready to turn things around next season.

We caught up with Tommy on Sunday evening to get his thoughts on team GB getting on the box, his 2017 season and next year’s plans.

Well done Tommy – finally on the podium with GB! You have usually been the leader with results and not ended up on the podium, but you had a difficult weekend yourself but did what you needed to do in that last moto!

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Yeah it’s strange how it all works, many years I’ve been the top guy and other people have had bad results but that’s just how it goes. Max rode unbelievable, I don’t think it has even sunk in for him this weekend what he has done. Brilliant, brilliant ride from him so congrats and the same with Dean. Dean had a solid weekend which was exactly what we needed. I had a problem (race one with the bike) but a decent second race, it was nothing special, Mark said get that top fifteen result and make sure there was no problems with the bike.

So I was careful with the bike but I was a little bit worried we weren’t going to make it through the race with how the conditions were but I brought it home in fifteenth. I am not overly happy with my performance but with the team performance I am really happy.

The second moto you got a bad start but once you got in your groove you started to pick people off, did you feel good on the 250?

I didn’t feel bad it was just, I think if you ask anyone they struggled this weekend with vision. If you put us on the track with clean goggles then it would have made a difference but with the rain it was a struggle all race. but we managed to get through it and for team GB to get on the podium and for the British public I think it’s brilliant.

Mentally you are always really strong under pressure and usually ride to the occasion, and you did it again in the final moto, what is the secret to that mental strength?

I don’t know! I was really, really nervous this weekend to be honest, I rode tight yesterday and this morning I rode tight but then I spoke with my trainer Kirk Gibbons and he is very good mentally. He settled me down a bit and I got some music on and I was ready for that first race and I felt really, really good. I had turned the page and I was ready to go, then I had that problem with the bike and I was gutted.

The second I race I was listening to the crowd, I didn’t have an amazing ride but I managed to keep charging and didn’t make a mistake. I dunno, normally I am good under pressure, this I weekend I didn’t do anything special but I did what I needed to do. it’s easy to crash in those conditions and throw it away and I didn’t do that so that’s something to be happy about.

On the team bonding Dean is pretty lively, Max is very excitable and you are pretty calm, does that all mix well?

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Yeah we all got along really well. We get along anyway but to spend a week together like we did this week was nice to spend time with them. Max is a great lad, he was great this weekend – he doesn’t even know how he has done it! It hasn’t sunk in yet but it is a once in a lifetime thing that very few people get to experience and he has done it today. I think Dean was a bit nervous coming in this weekend but he did everything he needed to do this weekend and should be really proud of himself.

On your season, we were looking forward to seeing comeback at Desertmartin and then you got injured again which delayed your comeback, how do you sum up the year?

It has been a terrible, terrible year, one of the worst in my career with injuries so I am glad it’s all over. I just need a couple of weeks to do nothing now really. Even though I haven’t been racing, mentally it probably has been the toughest season I have ever had and that takes it out of you way more than anything physically.

Next season are you all sorted for MXGP?

Yeah I am going to race for Dixon again. I think I can have a good year, I am happy with the team and happy with the bike. It’s just me I just need to work hard this winter which I will do and then come out injury free, get healthy and start enjoying it again.