The Grand Prix of Patagonia Argentina meant a long haul to the depths of South America for the Monster Energy Dixon Racing Team Kawasaki and while Tommy Searle had to pull out of the second MXGP moto bloody-and-bruised with a broken nose due to a crash there was at least some positive news from Neuquen with Vsevolod Brylyakov’s sixth place overall in MX2; equalling a personal best so far for the Russian on the KX250F.
Neuquen staged the second Argentina GP this century and welcomed back MXGP after a successful and atmospheric inauguration in 2015. The dips and weaves of the fast, wide and relatively new layout was formed from volcanic soil found frequently in the region near the Chilean border and close to the town of Villa de Angostura that was sold out in terms of accommodation with a 29,000 crowd in attendance.
The track itself was technically simple but inviting in terms of the line choices and propensity for action-packed racing and the hard base started to carve into vicious holes and ‘kickers’ by the time of the second motos on Sunday.
Searle looked solid through practice and qualification on Saturday setting the seventh and fifth fastest times in the sessions before recording a decent sixth in the Quali Heat. Still missing some prowess from the start line, Tommy gated on the fringe of the top ten and spent most of the moto chasing countryman and British Championship rival Shaun Simpson for eighth spot. He was overtaken by Glenn Coldenhoff and finally reached the flag in tenth place.
The chance of a better result in the second MXGP chase was curtailed with a slip through the waves that led to a bloodied nose for the former triple world championship runner-up and a visit to the medical centre. Despite the shocking sight of 100 in claret, Searle was swiftly talking of better fortune at round five the following weekend.
‘Seva’ Brylyakov is making encouraging progress on the Kawasaki in what is his second Grand Prix year and first with the DRT crew. More top tens were the order of the day for ‘18’ as he went 8-9 in the MX2 motos for a fine sixth position overall and matching his highest classification of the season so far (recorded in Thailand for round two).
The Grand Prix of Mexico at the Parque Metropolitano de León next weekend will represent the fifth stop for MXGP and will involve another length period of travelling for the team this week.