Searle crowned British Arenacross champion
Tommy Searle of GTCi REVO Kawasaki won the 2023 Arenacross British Championship by a single point after finishing second to rival Conrad Mewse, Crendon Honda Fastrack Racing, in a nail-biting 14-lap finale at the OVO Arena Wembley, that went right to the wire.
Leading into the Main Event of the Arenacross Tour presented by Fix Auto UK, Searle had a perfect set of results from qualifying and the evening’s heats, rewarding the Kawasaki rider with a valuable extra two points, placing him four points ahead of Mewse.
Prior to the Main Event, a thrilling Head-to-Head final saw off-track pals Elliott Banks-Browne, Mark McCann 64 YouTube Channel and Searle’s team-mate Mel Pocock, clash just before the finish line. Banks-Browne managed to muscle his way back onto his bike and took the chequered flag first, and collected an extra point. In a burst of Arenacross justice, Pocock went on to win the Last Chance Qualifier to earn his place in the evening’s Main Event, while Martin Barr, Apico Factory Racing, earned the approval of the fans to win the People’s Vote.
Searle shot off the line but Arenacross specialist Jack Brunell, Troy Lee Designs GASGAS was soon in the lead. A thrilling battle ensued in which Searle did everything he could to try and reign in the Londoner, while behind them Mewse was steadily carving his way through from the very back of the pack. As the race drew to a close, Mewse was on fire and in an incredible final two laps managed to pick off Searle and then make a pass stick on Brunell to take the win to the astonishment of the crowd. Searle relegated Brunell to third to finish a solid second and secure championship glory.
Jack Brunell: “I’ll take third as these guys lap me at outdoors – they are British champions.
“These guys have mechanics and I’m in the garage on a Thursday night changing tyres. That’s what my dad used to do. Now my brothers help.
“I enjoy riding Arenacross and it’s what I enjoy doing and want to do. It’s the future of the sport. We need to have some more rounds and I enjoy racing with these boys. I make myself dizzy the number of laps I do getting ready for these races.”
Conrad Mewse: “That was a cool race. I enjoyed it a lot, but congratulations to Tommy on winning the title.
“I didn’t get the best of starts – I’ve been struggling a bit lately. With Arenacross gearing it’s more difficult. I wanted to win the final tonight – it’s all I could do.
“I’m so frustrated I take so long to get into these races. I struggle in the beginning. But overall it was a fantastic night and I came away with what I wanted to – to win.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work on the outdoor stuff, so had three days Arenacross practice and on two of those I rode down the side of whoops. What an incredible series – the most fun I’ve had on a bike in a long time.
“I was hoping Tommy would tuck the front in the last turn! I knew it was done but on Arenacross, you never know. I was a bit disappointed not to win the title but it’s all learning. And I’ll bring it next year!”
Tommy Searle: “I got a good start, behind Jack. He was riding a brilliant race and I settled into his rhythm more than I should. I was surprised as the rest of the night, he was struggling. I couldn’t get round Jack and into the whoops I decided to double, and Conrad came by.
“It means a lot to Kawasaki and to my team to keep my championship streak alive. It’s good to be here, an absolutely brilliant series and I loved every minute of it. This might be my last year of racing, but I feel good. There’s some young riders like Conrad and Josh coming up but why stop – I’m loving it at the minute.
“Tonight I focused on the bonus points. If Conrad had those, he would have been champion. I was fastest in qualifying and had a couple of good heat races and got another point. I made it happen early on, so I made my night much easier.
“Even when me and Conrad came together in Scotland, I lost a lot of points. Over the championship, those moments matter.”
Josh Gibert: “It’s been a bit up and down and didn’t really know what to expect. But we still came away with podium. I went in for the kill on Jack on last couple of corners but went down. I know what to expect now and it’s a great experience. I want to come back next year.”
“It’s been amazing. When both riders said they wanted to do it, it wasn’t in our plan but they were adamant they wanted to have a go. It’s always a lot of stress but it’s been well worth it. Tommy is a great champion – the racing has been brilliant, the show excellent and we’re happy to be involved with the series. It brings a lot to our partners and it gives them an opportunity to be involved in a great environment.”
Main Event Result
1. Conrad Mewse, 2. Tommy Searle, 3. Jack Brunell, 4. Joe Clayton, 5. Josh Gilbert, 6. Mel Pocock, 7. Shaun Simpson, 8. Jake Nicholls, 9. Dylan Woodcock, 10. Martin Barr.