Team Suzuki Press Office – January 31.
Thomas Ramette – SR75 World Suzuki – 6-1
Cyrille Coulon – SR75 World Suzuki – 3-DNQ
Cederic Soubeyras – FRO Systems Suzuki – 5-4
Evgeny Bobyshrev – RFX Suzuki – 2-0
Belfast may be SR75 World Team Suzuki boss Geoff Walker’s home turf, but the city has always brought their riders mixed fortunes and this year’s fourth and fifth rounds of the Power Maxed Arenacross Tour at SSE Arena were no exception.
Both defending champion Thomas Ramette and his team-mate Cyrille Coulon transferred straight to the Main Event on Friday with solid showings in their heats. Brilliant starts from both riders saw them running 1-2 for a few laps before Dan Reardon separated them. Then a small mistake from Ramette allowed Reardon to close and then the Aussie lost his front end and slid into the RM-Z450 rider, causing him to stall.
Coulon was also held up by the incident but showing his typical resolve, fought back through the pack to get on the podium in third while a disappointed Ramette could only recover to sixth.
Another solid showing in Saturday’s qualifying sessions set the pair up for a good evening show. Ramette rode with class and determination all night to win both his heats, but after running fourth in his first one, a damaged fork guard hampered Coulon in his second and a sixth-placed finish sent him to the LCQs where he was eliminated following a collision.
Ramette, however, stepped up, stayed focussed and took the Main Event win to lift himself into second in the Pro title chase and give SR75 the lead in the Team Championship.
Geoff Walker – Team Principal:
“It’s been two nights of mixed fortunes for us in Belfast but that always seems to be the case whenever we come here. One thing that remains consistent is the passion we put into our racing and we saw from Cyrille on Friday night his incredible determination and never-say-die approach to racing as he fought his way to a brilliant podium finish.
“On Saturday he was very disappointed to miss the Main Event, but he races with respect for his rivals and can hold his head up high. He’s a tough man and will bounce back. As for Thomas, what can I say? He carried the momentum from his win in Birmingham into Belfast and has ridden brilliantly all weekend. He was unlucky not to win on Friday night but on Saturday he showed just why he’s won three AX titles in a row and is now just two points from the championship lead. I’m very proud of both guys – they always give 100 per cent.”
Thomas Ramette – 6-1:
“My starts have helped me stay out of trouble. Sure, Friday night could have been a lot better for me but winning both my heats and then the Main Event made it an almost perfect night on Saturday. I don’t feel any pressure to perform – I already have three titles – but of course I race to win. Now I am only two points from the championship lead so there is everything to play for.”
Cyrille Coulon – 3-DNQ:
“Friday was a good night for me. I had to make a lot of passes to get onto the podium, but my bike was faultless, and I felt very comfortable. Saturday was not so good, and I am sad and a little angry not to make the Main Event in that way. But that is racing – sometimes you are high, sometimes you are low – and nights like that make me even more determined to do well for myself, my team, my sponsors and my supporters.”
Team FRO Systems Suzuki and RFX Suzuki:
Frenchman Cedric Soubeyras (Team FRO Systems Suzuki) continues to hold the series lead on the RM-Z450 by two points over Ramette after 5-4 finishes in Belfast. RFX Suzuki’s Evgeny Bobyshrev is currently outside the top-10 in the standings but put in a spectacular second place on Friday night.
Friday Pro Main Event:
1. Adrien Escoffier, France, MVR-D St Blazey Husqvarna, 20 points
2. Evgeny Bobyshrev, Russia, RFX Suzuki, 18
3. Cyrille Coulon, France, SR75 World Suzuki, 16
4. Nique Thury, Germany, MVR-D St Blazey Husqvarna, 15
5. Cedric Soubeyras, France, Team FRO Systems Suzuki, 14
6. Thomas Ramette, France, SR75 World Suzuki, 13
Saturday Pro Main Event:
1. Thomas Ramette, France, SR75 World Suzuki, 20 points
2. Dan Reardon, Australia, I-Fly JK Yamaha, 18
3. Elliott Banks-Browne, GB, Geartech Husqvarna, 16
4. Cedric Soubeyras, France, Team FRO Systems Suzuki, 15
5. Fabien Izoird, France, Buildbase Honda, 14
6. Adam Chatfield, GB, Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki, 13
Pro Championship Points:
1. Cedric Soubeyras, 84 points
2. Thomas Ramette, 82
3. Charles Lefrancois, 71
4. Fabien Izoird, 64
5. Cyrille Coulon, 63
6. Hugo Basaula, 60