Team Suzuki Press Office – January 9.
Cyrille Coulon – 2nd
Thomas Ramette – 3rd
Cedric Soubeyras – 4th
Reigning SR75 World Suzuki Team AX Champion Thomas Ramette and team-mate Cyrille Coulon both raced to podium positions in the opening round of the 2018 Power Maxed Arenacross Tour at Manchester Arena in the UK at the weekend aboard their RM-Z450 machinery, while French SX Champion Cedric Soubeyras claimed 4th overall.
In an exciting season-opener, three-time champion Ramette, Soubeyras (Team Fro Systems Suzuki), together with former British MX champ Elliott Banks Browne and winner of the first-ever Arenacross Pro series, Adam Chatfield, all ended-up battling against each other in the ‘head-to-head’ eliminator.
Soubeyras and Ramette fought tooth-and-nail right to the end to win the highly-prized top-two slots which gave them a guaranteed passage to the Main Event, whilst Chatfield and Banks Browne earned the recognition of the promoter to also make it through to the 14-lap final.
In the Final, Ramette and Coulon were fired-up while remaining focused. Coulon made a great start up the inside from first gate pick and Ramette made the greatest start of all time to somehow make third in the first turn from a poor starting position. Both kept the pressure on the leader to claim a ‘2-3’ for a double podium and a strong start to the season.
Cyrille Coulon – P2:
“I am happy tonight, I can win so I am a little disappointed, but I took no risks all night to ride smooth and make a good start to the championship. I am happy for this good start, so thanks to my guys in the team and everyone who are supporting us – and congratulations to Charles for this victory.”
Thomas Ramette – P3:
“I have to be happy with this start to the series. Tonight, was tough but this is what we do. I do not give up. It was cool to rip the SR75 RM-Z450 Suzuki out of the gate and push to the podium position. The team do a fantastic job every week of the year to give myself and Cyrille everything we need to do what we do, and it is great to be back in the UK racing again. Thanks as always to our team and partners and congratulations to Charles on his victory.”
Geoff Walker – Team Manager:
“The guys were fantastic tonight. The coolness and skill from Cyrille was breathtaking and for Thomas to come back from the tough night through sheer determination and fight makes us all very proud. We all work very hard in this team every single day of the year, so it is cool when we can have both guys give their absolute all when it counts while keeping things under control in the most testing times. As always, we would like to thank all our team partners who help make SR75 SUZUKI what it is and a big shout to our weekend crew for their hard work in keeping our amazing Suzuki UK bikes perfect in the conditions.”
The opening round of the Arenacross UK Championship also saw former MXGP rider Evgeny Bobryshev make his first UK appearance in this type of event aboard his new RFX-sponsored Suzuki RM-Z450, and although he did not qualify for the Main Event, the 30-year-old Russian, who had little time on his new machine prior to the event – after several years riding for another manufacturer – was upbeat after his debut. He said: “I’ve spent the past few months looking at my options and negotiating a deal rather than riding but, the moment I sat on the Suzuki RM-Z450, I felt instantly confident. The base of the bike is superb and chassis excellent: This is important as it then allows me to get on and develop the rest of the machine to my style. When you have a great platform to work from, it makes the rest of it easier.”
Manchester Arena Pro Overall Results:
1. Charles Lefrancois, Buildbase Honda, 23 points
2. Cyrille Coulon, SR75 World Team Suzuki, 18
3. Thomas Ramette, SR75 World Team Suzuki, 16
4. Cedric Soubeyras, Team Fro Systems (Suzuki), 15
5. Fabien Izoird, Buildbase Honda, 14
6. Adrien Escoffier, MVR-D St Blazey Husqvarna, 13
7. Hugo Basaula, Shocktech Kawasaki, 13
8. Jack Brunell, Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki, 12
9. Adam Chatfield, Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki, 10
10. Dan Reardon, JK IFly Yamaha Racing, 9
11. Elliott Banks Browne, Geartech Husqvarna, 8
12. Ashley Greedy, Team Fro Systems, 8