Podium for Searle; second overall in MX 2 Championships

Talented British teenager tackled the unfamiliar sandy course in Lierop, Netherlands to come home third in the season’s final Grand Prix to finish second overall in the 2007 MX2 World Championship.
The performance of the teenager lifted the spirits of the KTM Red Bull Racing Team and rounded off the MX2 season satisfactorily. Although unaccustomed to riding on sand, Searle took the holeshot in the first race but was unable to sustain his rhythm and finished fourth. He was up with the top three for most of the second race but lost time in a light crash and was eventually seventh across the line. His combined score was still enough for him to take another podium at the close of the season.

Tommy said he planned to train hard on sand in preparation for next season because he wanted to be consistently good on all surfaces. Certainly an emerging talent in the 2007 season, he should be able to challenge the dominance of the top MX2 riders in the coming season, according to team boss Stefan Everts. “Tommy has matured this season. He won a Grand Prix and that was good for his confidence. Next year we expect him to be able to challenge (Antonio) Cairoli and to win a lot more GPs.”

The 18-year old was left to carry the flag for the Austrian manufacturer after teammate Tyla Rattray had to forego the final races f the season in lieu of reconstructive knee surgery. Tyla is well on the road to recovery and will return to be a major player for the KTM Red Bull Racing Team in the quest for the MX2 title next season. Despite missing the final four GPs, the South African rider still accrued enough points to finish fourth overall for 2007. Between them, Rattray and Searle stood on the podium 26 times in the season, a result that was also praised by KTM Offroad Director Pit Beirer.

“Today is the end of a new era for the team and we have created a very solid basis to go on to bigger success in 2008. Having such an experienced person like Stefan Everts in charge of the team was very special. He was highly professional and a very good leader,” Beirer said. “The success we have enjoyed is the result of the consolidated work of the entire team and I want to thank them for that.”

Results
1. Antonio Cairoli, Italy, Yamaha
2. Gareth Swanepoel, South Africa, Kawasaki
3. Tommy Searle, Britain, KTM
4. Rui Goncalves, Portugal, KTM
5. Nicolas Aubin, France, Yamaha
2008 Season’s Standings
1. Antonio Cairoli, Italy, Yamaha, 660 points
2. Tommy Searle, Britain, KTM, 510
3. Christophe Pourcel, France, 436
4. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, KTM, 371
5. Gareth Swanepoel, South Africa, Kawasaki, 364