Hitting the awesome Odyssey Arena in Belfast was, as always, a buzz due to the love of all things Motorsport in Northern Ireland.
Taking the championship lead with Thomas TR6 Ramette was an amazing start to the series in Manchester and with Cyrille CC5 Coulon continuing his return to his maximum after injury – we looked to rounds two and three of the series to make two solid results.
Our aim: work hard to run for podiums with both riders on both nights in this crazy and incredibly intense world of Arenacross UK where the only guarantee is entertainment and wild racing.
Every member of this team fully realises the up and down nature of the series and we work to keep our feet on the ground and make solid results with our superb riders and race bikes. Both Cyrille and Thomas work incredibly hard to make every lap count in this tour.
Friday’s timed sessions went well with Thomas lighting up the timing screens to take pole and Cyrille finding more speed with each passing session going 1-8 overall in times.
The night program was action packed as usual with both guys having some issues during the heats. Unfortunately Thomas’ incredible speed could not be used to its full advantage in the tricky conditions so a solid and very reserved couple of heat races from both riders saw us with a difficult task of going to the gate 8-9 for the final.
Thomas worked hard in the head-to-head races to take a valuable two points.
The final as usual went off with a bang and Cyrille once again began to work hard from the back after being cut off at the start. Thomas pushed hard from the start to make ground and was up to third within the early laps.
Riding with a level of control TR6 made some controlled runs at Florent Richier for second but came up against some great defensive riding as CBR/ASA Racing’s Adam Chatfield made a solid break at the front showing great control.
Cyrille was advancing towards the mid-pack nicely when the fallen Geartec Suzuki’s Elliott Banks-Browne returned to the inside of the track and straight into the path of CC5, wiping him out. At the front Thomas showed maturity and control to bring the RMZ450 home for a superb podium in third with Cyrille dragging himself up and making the finish in a beaten up and tough to take 10th.
This result left Thomas still at the head of the championship in a tie on points with Florent Richier so Saturday was going to go off!
Round 3 A new day and we looked to work hard to get both riders safely into the Main and working for solid results. TR6 was absolutely on fire in qualification, consistently running untouchable times to make it three poles from three rounds. Cyrille started to look like the CC5 we know and he really is starting to work the track as only he can with ease. With 1-7 in joint overall times we looked forward to a strong night programme.
Thomas was, simply put, on a controlled mission. TR6 bossed both heats without putting a foot wrong and Cyrille worked through to make the transition to the Main in 8th giving him a shot in the head-to-head races for the first time this tour. CC5 made it through to the points scoring rounds of the head-to-heads taking a valuable point for fourth.
Thomas, as has seemingly become usual, had to drag himself off the ground during the head-to-heads as things got wild in the rounds once again. TR6 stood up and cracked on for the victory in that one followed by a good clean battle with a fair riding Harri Kullas for the four points on offer.
Both guys where calm and ready for the main and we had Thomas up front with a hard fought first couple of turns, and Cyrille having to begin his battle from the back after another tough first lap.
CC5 is definitely getting back in the game as he was back to his ‘if you give me sh*t I give you sh*t’ style of racing – I guess we must bear in mind this guy took Justin Barcia down after he tried some attacking moves a couple of years ago. He took a couple of hits before making an aggressive move of his own.
When the dust settled from the move it was back to the business of working through to ninth at the flag. TR6 was showing fantastic control, riding easy with a great rhythm when his impeccable day took a turn with a simple slip-off mid-corner with only a couple of laps to go.
This smallest of mistakes was enough to break rhythm and allowed Oakleaf Motorsports’ Angelo Pellegrini through for the win.
This is bitter sweet – the hard work and speed Thomas put in during the final allowed him to get up off the deck and still take a fine second place. With that impressive final and the head-to-head victory we had a tie on 22 points for the round.
Thomas now takes a 10 point lead into the next round at the Genting Arena (formerly LG) in Birmingham and we will all work together as a unit to keep our smiles in place and work for positive results every time our riders are on track.
We win together, we lose together and as a team we will push to improve ourselves every week as progression is what we are all about here at SR75-MOLSON Racing.
“This weekend in Belfast has been tough because I want to win every time I race,” said TR6. “This is my passion and I know it is difficult to win every time so I must be happy with my championship lead and great feeling with my team and my bike.
“My speed is good and working with my team I try to make good speed and make no mistakes or excuse. My bike is perfect and I cannot wait to race again. I will work for next week and for every race in this tour to make my maximum for myself and this team.
“I say thanks to all the guys in the team for working hard at the race and to every sponsor for helping make this experience with the team so great.”
“I am not happy because I have a good feeling and good speed with my bike [KXF450 Kawasaki],” commented CC5. “One guy [EBB] is not looking and crashed into me on Friday night final and one guy is making crash on me on Saturday so I make one aggressive move.
“I don’t want to make an aggressive move but this guy cannot crash me for no reason. I want to win for this team and the guys working hard in the pits. Thank you to all and I work for more strong results in next races.”
Geoff Walker ‘Chief Cook and Bottle Washer’: “This weekend has been wild but I guess as an Ulsterman I should expect things to get a little wild in the city of my birth… I am incredibly proud of my riders and team personnel for the level of focus shown through this tough weekend.
“Everyone is working very hard for success and quality in this team. I want to say the riders have shown true professionalism and they have got their heads down and worked incredibly hard to be out there entertaining and racing hard for the paying public.
“This is, after all, the single most important thing. We showcase our rider’s skill and our team partner’s support through this fantastic series given to us by the good folks at e22 Sports. I thank and appreciate everyone involved in what we do and to have two riders willing to work as hard as Cyrille and Thomas is fantastic for us all.”