On Saturday night the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow hosted its first spectacular evening of 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross, powered by Ford Ranger.
The stunning venue was the host of a one-two Arenacross punch this weekend as the tour commences its second and third rounds on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
While we wait for the first gate drop of Round Three this afternoon, let’s take a look back on a crazy Saturday night that ultimately saw the Frenchman – and 2014 AX champion – Fabien Izoird take home the Main Event win.
Youth and Pro Lites
The youth racing once again provided some great moments. In the Supermini class it was Harry Kimber who once again asserted his dominance taking two wins and showing his courage leaping the huge finish-line double, lap after lap.
He wasn’t the only courageous young rider out there – Ben Burridge on his RV racing Suzuki also made the massive leap on his way to second position.
Rounding out the podium was Lewis Hall who looked fast on board his Team Green Kawasaki, however he wasn’t hitting the big double which made all the difference when the races came around.
In the 65 class we once again had a showdown between Kiean Boughen and Ollie Colmer. Boughen had won the first moto earlier in the day after a great battle with Colmer. So it was all to play for in the night show.
As the gates dropped things didn’t start out great for the #5 of Kiean Boughen as he hit the deck on the first lap. Ollie Colmer was then able to take the lead, stretch out a comfortable gap and take the win.
Boughen tried his hardest to make up the ground but he was only able to make it back to seventh position in the short race.
Behind Colmer on the podium in moto two was Jak Taylor in second and Tye Jones in third.
The Pro Lites class provided some much closer racing this weekend.
We had some new blood in the form of Edward Briscoe who was able to shake things up somewhat. However, despite this injection of fresh new riders nobody was able to match pace of Joe Clayton.
The lad from Devon was able to continue his perfect record and win both motos on Saturday with considerable ease.
Behind him came Jordan Moxey and the new boy Edward Briscoe.
Clayton was pleased with his performance on Saturday night: “I’m so happy with it [the unbeaten streak], it’s really good.
“My bike is so good, St, Blazey sorted me out with it and it’s just perfect. I’m looking to do the same again tomorrow night, my aim is to try and nail practice, qualifying and then the racing!
“I definitely feel my home track down at Wheeldon farm gives me an edge. I grew up riding the indoor tracks, so this is what I like!”
The night started strong for the entire French contingent as the trio of Cedric Soubeyras (third), Florent Richier (second) and Cyrille Coulon (first) filled the top three in the first heat of the evening. French domination would be the theme of the night.
The night didn’t start well at all for three of the most talked about riders coming into the night. Both Thomas Ramette and Josh Hansen found themselves on the deck in Heat two (and not for the last time) and Matt Bayliss found himself caught up in yet more drama as he was involved in a last corner collision with fellow Brit Jack Brunell.
Izoird made an early statement in what would become a stellar night for the LPE Kawasaki rider, as he took the Heat two win, followed by the new boy, Collin Jurin and then Chris Bayliss, who came in third.
After his mishaps in his first heat Josh Hansen was looking to bounce back in the third (and his final) heat race.
Things started well for the American as he took the early race lead, but what appeared to be a bike malfunction – or maybe it was just a rookie mistake and he stalled the bike – took him out the race.
Either way Hanny would have to head to the LCQ.
With Hansen’s misfortune Matt Bayliss inherited the lead. It looked as though we were going to have a repeat of Heat three from last weekend, as Bayliss led trying to fend off attacks from a Frenchmen, although this time it was Coulon and not Izoird.
In almost an exact replay of last weekend Bayliss fended off a last corner attack to take the win in heat three.
In Heat four we saw a red flag situation come into play after the Australian Daniel McCoy had a nasty crash at the end of the whoop section.
Thomas Ramette was the man to capitalise on this opportunity trading in his first corner crash in the first go around with a holeshot and a runaway win after the restart.
Behind him was Izoird and Richier, once again it was a French one, two, three.
Our AMA superstar had to make it through a stacked LCQ in the top-two if he wanted to make the Main, which is no mean feat in Arenacross racing.
But Hansen was able to get away with the early lead and leave the chaos behind him.
Italian pilot, Angelo Pellegrini followed Hansen into the Main after making a last lap pass on Jordan Booker.
That was only the first of Bookers last lap woes as he later found himself in a heap on the floor along with the young Gradie Featherstone. Neither rider was happy about this altercation and we almost had a Weston Peick A1 fisticuffs.
Before the Main Event our qualified riders would first have to take on the Head-to-Head gauntlet.
Once again the French boys dominated here. Izoird beat out Coulon in the race for the third place spot and Soubeyras was able to defeat Richier to once again take the Head-to-Head honours.
Once the Main came around Izoird carried his early form, taking the holey and race lead.
Last week’s winner and early series leader Ramette continued his night of woes by going down early in the race.
The same went for Hanny, after making a poor start the SJR Kawasaki rider was fighting through the field – just as he did in Manchester a week earlier – when he came together with Matt Bayliss resulting in both riders eating dirt and exiting the fight.
As Izoird lead comfortably Soubeyras raced hard in second place trying to close the gap on his countryman and Richier desperately tried to fend off attacks from Coulon.
As the final lap commenced Coulon attempted to strike for a podium spot, and in that attempt the Frenchman went down allowing Richier to take third place behind Soubeyras and Izoird.
Izoird was satisfied with the race but wasn’t happy with his riding: “I feel happy of course, not to just to be on the box but to be first place.
“I didn’t have the perfect weekend last week in Manchester, but I had good speed. I thought it was very important to try and win for the team.
“I haven’t been happy with my riding but I had a good start tonight, hopefully I ride and feel better for round three tomorrow. Having a win after just two races is great, I’m very happy.”
And when asked about his brewing rivalry with crowd favourite Matt Bayliss the Frenchman had this to say: “No not really, I wouldn’t say we have a big rivalry.
“I know he can be a good rider but sometimes his moves are just too crazy for me, and for a lot of the other guys.
“I think he had a few too many incidents when he tried to make passes but that’s racing. I try to stay focused on my race and my goals and not him.
“Tonight I tried to find the solution to riding better and I hope to win again tomorrow.”
Round Two was an explosive night. The Glaswegian crowd was loud, the racing was intense and once again the show was off the hook.
And we’re going to do it all over again today (Sunday) as Round Three of the 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross Tour kicks off again this afternoon here at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow.
Results: 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross, Powered by Ford Ranger – Glasgow Round Two
2016 Arenacross Championship Standings – 65cc
- Ollie Colmer, 76
- Kiean Boughen, 70
- Jak Taylor, 61
2016 Arenacross Championship Standings – Supermini
- Harry Kimber, 78
- Ben Burridge, 67
- Leiws Hall, 63
2016 Arenacross Championship Standings – Pro Lites
- Joe Clayton, 80
- Jordan Moxey, 66
- George Clarke, 61
2016 Arenacross Main Event – Pro Class
- Fabien Izoird LPE Kawasaki
- Cedric Soubeyras Geartec Yamaha
- Florent Richier LPE Kawasaki Kawasaki
- Cyrille Coulon SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki
- Adam Chatfield Buildbase Honda
- Jack Brunell SJR Kawasaki
- Collin Jurin Xbladez Husqvarna
- Angelo Pellegrini Buildbase Honda
- Thomas Ramette SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki
- Josh Hansen SJR Kawasaki
2016 Arenacross Championship Standings – Pro Class
- Cedric Soubeyras #120, 44 points
- Fabien Izoird #871, 37
- Thomas Ramette #1, 32
- Florent Richier #2, 31
- Cyrille Coulon #5, 30
- Jack Brunell #155, 29
- Adam Chatfield #407, 27
- Josh Hansen #100, 23
- Angelo Pellegrini, #941, 20
- Matt Bayliss #4, 19