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31 Жовтень 2019

Tommy Searle retires from GP racing

Tommy Searle, long-time member of the Green family, has decided to retire from the FIM Motocross World Championships where he has been a leading player of the series for more than a decade.

Having first ridden round the family garden at the tender age of two Tommy's natural talent was evident at an early age and he and his parents jumped at the opportunity to join Kawasaki's prestigious Team Green youth squad when he was old enough to move to the 85cc class. A five-times UK youth champion the English teenager was enrolled into the official Molson Kawasaki MX2 World Championship team for the 2005 British GP at Matchams Park and responded eight days before his sixteenth birthday with a typically gutsy and enthusiastic ride, twice recovering from falls to score championship points in both motos and send a signal to the world that he would play a significant role in the sport throughout the years to come. The following year he already finished eighth in his first full GP campaign with his first trip to the podium in Sweden and was runner-up in the world in each of the two following seasons before heading for America for two years. Returning to Europe in 2011 with Team Monster Energy CLS Kawasaki he immediately revived his World title challenge, adding two more series medals, eight GP victories and twenty-six podiums to his CV over the next two years to close his MX2 career with his third series silver medal and a heart-pounding double-victory in front of his adoring home-country fans at Matterley Basin. With fourteen career GP wins Tommy is Britain's most successful GP rider in the MX2 class and ranks third in total victories across all classes to multiple world champions David Thorpe and Jeff Smith. His MXGP career was unfortunately interrupted by injuries but he remained a top-ten runner throughout the subsequent seven years and he played a significant role in consecutive Motocross of Nations podiums for Great Britain in 2017 and 2018. A Green warrior to the core Tommy assisted the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team with competition development and further top-ten finishes during the closing stages of the 2019 campaign and signed off his Kawasaki career in style with the British national MX1 title. Recently a proud father to Alfie James together with wife Sophia, Tommy's future racing focus will be the British motocross series; Kawasaki thanks him for his commitment to the Green family throughout the past two decades and wishes him all the best for the future in both his professional career and private life.
 
Mike Church (Molson team owner): “I still have a very vivid memory of a very enthusiastic young lad turning up at our home in Marshfield, full of passion and ready to go. Nothing - and I mean nothing - appeared to be a problem to Tommy right from the off. The speed at which he was able to pick up on all the small things around him and translate into positives was very impressive and soon translated into even more impressive race results. There are some very good memories of the times we spent together in those early days. Tommy moved on and all of us who worked with him have followed his career to this day; he has achieved so much and always with the "Tommy-smile" which certainly got him out of trouble many times in the Molson Kawasaki camp. We would like to congratulate Tommy on all his achievements so far and wish him all the best with his future plans.”
 
Lisa Church (Molson team manager): “I remember very clearly Steve Guttridge calling me and saying "we are putting Tommy Searle into the team for next year" and a week later this scruffy teenager turning up at my parents' house. Without any time to go testing we headed to Hawkstone Park where he immediately qualified fifth; that was Tommy, a young lad full of passion who could just make things happen. He really was very young; I remember I had to call his mum if I needed to speak to him! But he really progressed quickly; nothing ever phased him and he had so much talent on-the-bike and a way of just lifting everyone’s spirits off-the-bike. He was a big part of the team and we had some really great times in those couple of years; there was certainly never a dull moment, indeed I have some really great memories of the entire Searle family. Tommy has had an amazing career so far and should be very proud of everything he has achieved; I am sure he will be sorely missed in the GP paddock. "Good luck Tommy" on the next stage of your career.”
 
Jean Jacques Luisetti (CLS team manager): “We spent four fantastic seasons with Tommy in the CLS Team, especially in the MX2 class where he had some incredible races against Jeffrey Herlings. It was the most disappointing moment of our relationship to so narrowly miss the world title in 2012 even though Tommy took six GP victories with us that year and went on to win the MX2 class at the Nations in 2014. Tommy is a true fighter, and he has always been very loyal to us; when he switched from MX2 to MXGP he had several factory options but he stayed with Kawasaki and CLS. We have lot of good memories and we hope he will enjoy the next stage of his career.”
 
Steve Dixon (DRT team manager): “It was good to take Tommy to his first British Championship; it was hard to believe this only happened in 2016. The following two years were fun with him but injuries prevented more titles. He’s a character in the pits and will always charm his way in the awning in the nicest possible way. He has been a great ambassador for the sport with immaculate style and I hope he has more good years ahead of him.”
 
David Luongo (Youthstream CEO): “Tommy has been a major actor of the MXGP World Championship since 2005 with a brilliant career in MX2! His first win came in 2007 on his home soil. With 14 GP wins in MX2 and 11 appearances in the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations he is definitely a top gun of the Motocross World Championship. On top of his talent, he has been a great professional, always open to the media. We wish him all the best for the future of his career.”
 
Ross Burridge (Kawasaki Motors UK): “I have personally enjoyed working with Tommy over a number of years and I’ve certainly enjoyed witnessing him take both of his British titles aboard Kawasaki machinery. As much as we would have loved to see him remain with Kawasaki in 2020 it just wasn’t meant to be. We wish Tommy all the best for next season and look forward to racing against him on-track!”
 
Steve Guttridge (Racing Manager, Kawasaki Motors Europe): “I actually met Tommy and his dad for the first time at a coaching day whilst he was still on a 65 and just before I started working for Kawasaki in 2001. I’d trained hundreds of kids before and hundreds since but he just stood out with his natural corner speed and the fact that he just wouldn’t stop making laps on full-gas. Initially on the KX85 through our Kawasaki dealer-rider-support programme he was quickly selected to race for the Team Green squad run by Kawasaki Motors UK. Moving up to national level he learnt so quickly and never gave up. He had a natural thirst to ride and that developed into a love of racing and winning which still very much burns strongly nineteen years later! Watching him move up from our Team Green squad into adults racing GPs and succeeding so quickly was inspirational and hopefully it showed what is possible to the next generations coming up. Helping our CLS team bring Tommy back from the USA with the backing of Monster Energy and Pro Circuit was an awesome move as we had some great seasons fighting for the MX2 world title in those seasons. There’s been so many great performances and MX of Nations highlights over the years but overall watching Tommy grow into the kind, appreciative and respectful man he is today has been the most rewarding journey from my side. He’s gonna make a great schoolboy dad to young Alfie and all at Kawasaki wish him and his family the happiest and healthiest of futures both inside and outside of their motocross lives”.
 
Quinton Searle (father): "I could never have imagined what Tommy would achieve in his career when we went and bought him his first bike at the age of two; it was a spur-of-the-moment decision as he loved hopping round the garden on his pogo stick. I never raced myself but my dad used to do it. There have been so many great moments but the absolute highlights were Tommy's two wins at the British GP; it's a fabulous feeling to be a truly proud dad when the home fans are cheering for your son."
 
Tommy Searle: “After almost fifteen years racing at the top level – twelve full years in the world championship and two in America - my focus next year will just be racing in the UK. As a kid I never knew it was possible to achieve what I’ve done – it seems one minute I was racing schoolboy motocross with the family, the next I was on the GP podium at 16 years old, racing against the best in the world. Now in the blink of an eye I’m retiring from the GPs. I've had so many good memories of travelling around the world – I’ve lived the dream and have had the privilege to work with and race a lot of great people along the way. I never managed to win a world championship but I came close a couple of times and overall I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved with fourteen GP wins and podiums in the US as a young gun. I’ll always be grateful to everyone who has supported me along the way. I want to say a massive thanks to the fans who have cheered me on - hopefully I gave you a few good memories over the years too - and of course a huge thank you to Kawasaki Motors Europe and Team Green UK for the past years working together! You have been a massive part of my career; cheers Steve Guttridge and Ross Burridge for the support and good times!”