One week after their home round at Matterley Basin Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki were back in action and in the hot climate of Mantova, Italy for the Grand Prix of Lombardia and Tommy Searle took his KX450F to 17th position overall.
The loose sandy top terrain of the hard course at the Nuvolario circuit a short distance from the town centre was a bumpy test for the riders around what was a compact and curling layout. 27,000 spectators found room on the shallow banking and basked in temperatures that touched thirty degrees. The twelfth round of eighteen was a frustrating one for the team due to a first race penalty for Searle that was largely unfounded.
‘100’ was immediately at a handicap for the two thirty minute and two lap motos on Sunday after two falls in the Qualification Heat on Saturday meant retirement with a broken exhaust and 34th pick of slots in the start gate. The luckless Brit started the first moto just inside the top twenty and worked up to 12th place where he hovered for most of the race. Searle crossed the finish line in the same position and was then dismayed to see he had been excluded from the results due to a course-cutting infringement. The team provided technical data to the FIM to support their case against as Searle had been hit by another rider and exited the track. The opponent concerned also admitted that he’d been at fault for the temporary excursion during which no advantage or improved speed was gained.
Trying to ride the wave of adversity Searle entered the gate for the second outing wanting some positive resolution to the weekend and ended the race with 14th after suffering again with the start. Searle collected 7 points at Mantova to improve his tally for the season to 189 and currently sits in 12th position in the world championship standings.
Vsevolod Brylyakov was back in action for the team after missing the British fixture. The Russian took his KX250F to 16th overall in MX2; the forced hiatus from Matterley Basin at least allowing the stretched ligaments in his right ankle to recover further. ‘Seva’ didn't get the best start and picked his way into the top twenty and the points before a crash led to slight damage of the radiator and a loss of water. He pulled into the pits a few laps before the chequered flag so as to not destroy the engine. In the second race a top ten start was promising but ‘18’s recent lack of bike and race time told in the final stages and he dropped from 7th to 11th.
In the upcoming three-weekend break from MXGP Monster Energy DRT will attend rounds five and six of the Maxxis British Championship and will then be back on Grand Prix duty with the Czech Republic round at Loket on July 24th.