Just a week after both riders had to retire from an event due to illness and Injury, the Crendon Fastrack Honda team of Tommy Searle and Jay Hague battled against the odds to race at Canada Heights yesterday.
Both toughed it out in steamy, hot conditions at the third round of the ACU championship. Searle delivered a red plate performance that secured a podium, valuable championship points and the MX1 red plate. At the same time, MX2’s Hague also scored prized championship points.
When the gate dropped for race one of the MX1 class, Searle moved straight into second position and kept the leader in sight. He was riding smart and at times it seemed like the win was within his grasp until a collision with another rider caused him to go down. He remounted and brought the Honda CRF450R home in fourth.
Still not fully recovered from the illness that plagued him last week and feeling drained of energy, Searle used all his experience to go one better – finishing a determined third place. His 38 points haul meant he tied with Shaun Simpson but climbed the final spot on the podium based on the better second moto. The 31-year-old keeps hold of the coveted red plate ahead of round four at Foxhill.
“I have the red plate, so I have to say it wasn’t a bad day at all,” Searle said. “It’s not how I want to be in the races, taking fourth and a third, but I am still not feeling well. In the first one, I had a little coming together, but I didn’t mind that pass – it’s what anyone would have done.”
Team rookie Jay Hague took a last-minute decision to compete after spending five days in bed recovering from the nasty crash he had at FatCat last Saturday.
Despite still being in pain with injured ribs, he explained that once the gate dropped and adrenaline kicked in – he knew then he’d give it his all. In the opening race, he gated in the top three and held onto fourth for most of the race, until the pain set in and he brought the Honda CRF250R home 10th.
In the second race, he mistimed the start and rounded lap one at the back of the field. But he put on a heroic charge to pull through to 18th and score some championship points.
“It’s been a really tough week,” admitted Hague. “I was literally in bed all week trying to heal up as I was determined to race here. On Thursday I still couldn’t get out of bed without help but by Friday I could move so I decided to race.
“My plan was just to stay on two wheels and get points in both motos, and that is just what I’ve done. Being a motocrosser, you have to go through the pain barrier. I’m so pleased I came and scored points. You don’t get any points sat on the sofa!”
Team manager Dave Thorpe: “A week ago both riders were out and there’s no way I thought both would be racing at Canada Heights. But they both showed sheer determination and courage. For Tommy to end up on the podium and keep the red plate is testament to his professionalism, even though he wasn’t 100 per cent today.
“And for Jay to ride and get points after such a big crash last week, it’s very impressive.”
The team’s other MX1 rider Jake Nicholls is following doctor’s orders to stay off the bike following a broken shoulder blade. He should be back in action soon.