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Tommy Searle Interview

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Tommy Searle rocked up to a packed Arenacross stand at the International Dirt Bike Show yesterday to chat with Jeff Perrett and talk about his 2017 Arenacross plans. The British #1 had plenty to say about his upcoming Arenacross adventure before spending time talking to fans and signing autographs.

We grabbed the champ for a quick Q&A session and it sounds like he’s already getting bitten by the Arenacross bug.

AX: Have you been to any Arenacross races?
TS: Yes. I went to Birmingham a couple of years ago and thought it was amazing.

AX: What made you think about giving it a go?
TS: I took part in the SMX Cup in Germany recently and found I really liked it, so when Kawasaki came up with a plan for me to contest the whole of next year’s Arenacross, I was pretty excited and thought it would be great fun. I think it’ll be good for the show, good for me and good for Kawasaki.

AX: Do you know any of the other racers?
TS: I don’t know much about the other competitors, and there’s no-one in particular that I’m worried about, but they’ll be fast.

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AX: Will you be training differently to enable you to adapt to the shorter/tighter style of racing?
TS: I’ve built a track in my garden so I can practice the tighter turns, etc. I’m competing in the Lille SX and then going to California in December to ride, train, get my intensity up and get ready for Arenacross and the World championship. I’ll probably give myself a couple of days off over Christmas and then it will be straight into the whole AX racing scene. My winter training will be as it would be for the worlds but I’ll be focussing on Arenacross-style training too.

AX: What are you most looking forward to about Arenacross?
TS: I’m looking forward to the atmosphere and being involved and I’m really hoping the fans will get behind me as it’ll spur me on to hear them cheering. It also breaks up the long winter for me as normally, I have to get through to the end of January before things start happening. I really believe it will keep me sharp for the GPs.

AX: You’ll obviously be out there to win but what do think of your chances?
TS: I know the French are really quick as they concentrate on indoor racing, week in week out, and those boys are at the top of their game. I must prepare myself to beat them. It’s not going to be easy to win with all three former champs confirmed for the series but one thing for sure is that I will give it my best shot and try to bring it home for the Brits.

AX: Is there any element of Arenacross that makes you apprehensive?
TS: Because of the close racing, I guess I do worry about getting hit, so even though I’ll be going flat out, I’ll be trying to stay safe.

AX: The Arenacross tracks are tight and fast and often it’s all down to the start. Are you quick out of the gate?
TS: The starts are critical and so it’s important for me to also fit start training into my programme. This is a part of AX that I’ll take to the GPs and I think it’ll be beneficial.

AX: Which venue are you most looking forward to?
TS: Birmingham and London as my family will come to them.

AX: You are headlining Team Green’s official Arenacross team and will be pairing AX regular Jack Brunell in the Pro team. Have you raced him before?
TS: Yes, but as a schoolboy. I respect what he does. I haven’t spoken to him yet but it will be nice to be working closely with him

AX: Does the prospect of being a part of a team with young aspirational riders excite you? They’ll be looking up to you after all.
TS: It’s good to see the young riders getting out and giving it a go but they need to know it’s important to work hard if they want to progress. I think the youth motocrossers in the UK need to step it up a bit and the intensity of Arenacross should help with that. It’s not easy to get to the top and it’s nice to think that maybe I can give them some advice and help.

AX: You’ve had a little taste of AX and the team here at the Dirt Bike Show, how do you feel about being a part of it all?
TS: You can see from the effort that has gone into the stand here that Matt Bates doesn’t do things by halves and talking to him, it sounds like they have interesting plans for the future. I want to be a part of that and am genuinely looking forward to it.


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