The CLS Kawasaki Team has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Frenchman Christophe Pourcel to return to GP racing in the MX1 World Championship.
Seriously injured in 2007 after clinching the 2006 MX2 world title for Kawasaki, Christophe resumed his successful career in the USA with two Supercross titles in the Lites class, but he has now decided to return to the World Championship and will join Kawasaki Team CLS for the second part of the 2011 season, including the Motocross of Nations is he is selected by the French Federation.
Pourcel will be reunited with several people whom he knows well; Jean Jacques Luisetti – owner of Team CLS and the Floride Moto dealer shop in Marseille – was one of his first sponsors, while Jeremy Fontaine was his mechanic in 2005 and 2006 and the team’s chief mechanic Yann Lozano accompanied him to discover the US scene.
Pourcel is already in Europe for testing with Ben Townley’s bikes, and will soon return to the GP scene.
“I’m happy to be back with Team CLS, who offered me a nice challenge,” said Pourcel.
“I know the team and I’m sure that we will do a great job together. I know the 450 Kawasaki well as I’ve been training on this bike in Florida.”
Meanwhile, Englishman Tommy Searle, currently running third in the MX2 World Championship, had agreed to renew his contract with the Kawasaki Team CLS for 2012 and he has a priority option for 2013.
Twice runner-up in the FIM MX2 World Championship, Searle returned to the series this year with the official Kawasaki MX2 GP team after two seasons racing in America.
He has proved since the first GP that he is one of the main contenders of the series, and has won the French Grand Prix and two motos to hold down a strong third place in the points as the series approaches the halfway stage.
After two tough seasons in the US due to a number of injuries, the young British rider, who just turned 22, is now back to his best level and is getting stronger with every race aboard his KX250F.
Searle and Team CLS have now reached a one-year deal and a priority option for 2013, and both will now be able to focus all of their attention on racing.
The 2012 season will be Searle’s final one in the MX2 class because of the age limitation ruling, and his MX2 class team-mate will again be Max Anstie, the English teenager who is currently enjoying a successful rookie GP season and will have even higher goals next season.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com