The 28-year old Belgian, a two-times GP winner this summer, had advanced strongly to sixth place until he crashed on the third lap of the opening GP moto at the rugged sand track built in front of the main grandstand of the famous road-racing facility in the northern part of the Netherlands. He was unable to contest the second moto and undergoes medical exams; he is now fourth in the championship standings, twenty-seven points shy of third prior to the season finale in France next weekend.
Teammate Jordi Tixier saw his season come to a close. The Frenchman crashed on the first lap of the qualification race on Saturday and aggravated the rib injuries which he initially sustained at the end of July. He could not participate in the Dutch GP and must also miss next weekend's season-ending French GP in order to recover from his injuries.
Tommy Searle of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki rode with great spirit in the demanding Dutch sand to advance from seventeenth to fourteenth in the opening moto; the English rider, who had missed most of the season through injury, inevitably lacked practice in these specialist track conditions. His second race was brought to a premature halt as the rider-less machine of another competitor collided with him at the second corner; he had to withdraw in pain as the bike landed on his ankle, but early medical investigation suggests there will be no long-lasting effects and he hopes to race in France next weekend.
Tommy Searle: “The first race was OK; the result is just average but I knew that it would be difficult as I didn’t ride so much in those conditions this year due to my injuries, but I was enjoying this race. In the second one I got hit in the second corner by a flying bike and unfortunately the bike landed on my ankle and I had a lot of pain; I had a check and hopefully there’s nothing serious.”
Jordi Tixier: “On Saturday I crashed during the first lap of the qualifying race, and in the crash I again hit the ribs that were damaged when I was training before Lommel. I had a lot of pain, and it’s impossible to race in that condition; now I need to recover from all my injuries, and I won’t be able to contest the final GP next weekend.”