Philippaerts and Searle now ripe for season’s MX podiums

As the MX1 and MX2 World Championships go into their final stages, KTM Red Bull factory riders David Philippaerts and Tommy Searle are both well placed to round off the season among the top three in each of their classes.

Races this weekend are in Northern Ireland and the following weekend at Donington Park in the UK. The final race is the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in Lierup. The Motocross of Nations will then be held in Budds Creek, USA at the end of September.

KTM’s Italian MX1 rider Philippaerts is in fourth place in the standings but his chances of moving up the ranks have been improved with the absence of standings leader Josh Coppins. The New Zealander broke a shoulder blade racing in the Czech Republic, missed the next GP in Belgium and it is reported that he will also sit out the race this weekend in Moneyglass, Northern Ireland.

Ahead of Philippaerts are Steve Ramon and Sebastien Pourcel, who has a slim lead of 11 points over Philippaerts.

David’s Spanish MX1 teammate Jonathan Barragan is lying eighth in the standings but with six races to go, he has an excellent chance of picking up more points. This weekend however he will be favoring an injured left hand, lacerated in a spill last weekend in the Stefan Everts and Friends Charity Race in Belgium. “I have five stitches in it and it’s quite painful,” he said. “But I am saving all my strength for the weekend and am hoping to pick up as many points as possible.”

But it will be in the last three races that young British teenager Tommy Searle will feel most at home. Searle has rocketed his way into third place in the MX2 standings and has been an outstandingly consistent performer in the second half of the season. “I am really pumped for this weekend,” he said. “It’s a new track for us all and I don’t know how I will go, but I am hoping for a lot of support from the fans,” he said. The next two rounds are “home” races for the British teenager and he will definitely have the crowd on his side. Searle has a deficit of 49 points on second placed Christophe Pourcel but with the kind of racing he has been delivering of late, that is well within his grasp.

KTM’s Tyla Rattray’s chances of completing the season on board his KTM 250 SX-F machine disappeared after a crash in the Czech Republic forced reconstructive surgery on his knee. The popular and resilient South African is already making a speedy recovery and is in good spirits. “The knee is healing quickly and I already have significant movement in it,” he said. “I will be able to start cycling in about five days and shortly after, I’ll be able to walk without any crutches.” Tyla has promised to be present at Lierup for the final races of the season to support his KTM Red Bull teammates in the final push for podiums.

In the next two races, all riders will be facing new territory. The Moneyglass Demesne circuit in Northern Ireland offers 1690 meters of challenging riding and will favor those who like a soft surface. Spectators will also enjoy some spectacular jump action, and as the area is a natural amphitheater the venue offers an excellent perspective of the circuit.

The following weekend will see action in the heartland of British motor sports when the British Motocross Grand Prix will be held at Donington Park. Some 50,000 tons of soil have been transferred to the infield area of the famous F1 Grand Prix circuit to be shaped into a challenging MX course.