Team Suzuki Press Office – January 21.
Charles Lefrancois: RM-Z450 – 1st
Nico Dercourt: RM-Z250 – 5th
SR75 HRS Suzuki’s Charles Lefrancois raced his RM-Z450 to victory in the opening Arenacross UK Tour at SSE Arena in Belfast, winning the Pro 450 and the Super Final Main Event.
With two rounds back to back on the Friday and Saturday night, Lefrancois and new RM-Z250 team rider Nico Dercourt spent the free training sessions and pushed as hard as possible without going over the edge on day one and qualified third and sixth respectively in 450 and 250 classes.
Lefrancois took command early in the first 450 final and dominated the race to take victory, but a small mistake on the final corner cost Charles a place in the second final. He made a great start considering he had one of the last choices on the start gate and he controlled his RM-Z450 on the ever changing track to stay within his limits running in a podium third place and first 450 to the chequered flag and was presented with the red number 1 AXUK leaders plate for victory on the night in the 450 AX Championship to take an early lead.
In the second round, both riders were fire up; Lefrancois ended up second overall after the two timed sessions with Dercourt progressing to fifth in the 250 class; following-up with second in the 250 Final where he gained automatic qualification into the Superfinal and gaining valuable points in the 250 AX Championship.
With both Suzukis in the Superfinal, Lefrancois took the holeshot and eventual victory while newcomer Dercourt battled from the back into the top five.
“I am very, very happy. I feel good as I make a good focus and I feel great on my awesome bike for these two nights racing. My bike and my team have been perfect and I am so happy for this result and for this Superfinal victory. I cannot believe how loud the fans are here in Belfast tonight and it is a pleasure to make a great performance for everyone here and for our team. Thanks to Jerome, Paul and Tony for working with me this weekend and also everyone involved and I cannot wait to get to Birmingham and race rounds 3 and 4 of this Championship.”
“I am a little disappointed with my first night and I know tonight I had to make progress. I fight every lap and I am more used to my bike. The team worked hard for me and we all worked together and this is a fantastic experience for me. I thank Jerome, Paul and Tony and everyone at SR75 as it was awesome to finish fifth tonight and show I will always fight every second every race. It has been fantastic to race here in Belfast for Arenacross and I look forward to Birmingham.”
Geoff Walker – Team Manager:
“I am incredibly happy with the guys over the last two days as we have had a few things to smooth out and everyone has pulled together as we do to push hard for success to the level we require. Charles has been on a new level and his professionalism is showing through as he elevates himself to Championship contender after collecting his 450 leader’s plate both nights here in my homeland. Nico is feeling his way with the 250 and progressing every lap and for him to make a top-five in the Superfinal was off the scale cool as he never gives up. The team has worked so hard for these results and you can see how much it means to the riders and everyone by the reaction of the victory tonight. That’s unreal. Thanks as always to everyone involved in what we do, to our team sponsors, partners and to AXUK for the show.”