London rocked at the final round of Garmin Arenacross and the SR75-MOLSON team played a big part in the biggest show of the series.
They arrived in the capital with hopes of progress in the championship – to reach their goal of podium in the both the Pro Championship and the Pro Team Championship.
The team knew this would be a tough battle due to Cyrille Coulon’s (CC5) injuries that he sustained to his hands and back after the gnarly crash in Sheffield.
Carl Nunn (CN23) was suffering from a dip in confidence following his epic performance in Liverpool that was ended by an out of control rider.
The superb flowing track design at Wembley Arena meant that every rider would need to be at the top of their game. And with some of the fastest indoor racers on the planet on show those 12 spots for the Main began to look like a tough target.
Nunny is the only rider from last year’s SR team and he knows all to well that when you are a pilot for SR it is unacceptable to think of quitting when things aren’t going your way. This is just not the team’s way.
The team worked on a few simple keys on both the superb KTM350 SX and then Carl himself in the break before, and then during the event. Together, the team gave quality input from every member and Carl came at the finale with a fantastically determined attitude.
Due to swelling on his hand injury CC5 struggled to hold onto the bike during the morning. Couple this with the development of the now fire-breathing RMZ450 during the break – with help from Donny and the crew at FMF HQ in the States.
The full factory pipe they shipped over, together with some new settings made the Suzuki hit another level in performance, which helped in the team’s search for improved starts. They knew things were going to be tight for the evening show when the first four guys were covered by 41-hundredths of a second after qualifying with Cyrille the only rider to improve in the second session.
CN23 worked on corner speed and the whoop section during the morning to find his zone for the evening show and when it came to this he took the holeshot in the first heat and ran strong for a fantastic sixth. CC5 took a comfortable second in this heat behind Thomas Ramette.
The guys second heat again saw them together and while Cyrille worked his way towards the front to finish behind Fabien Izoird for another second place.
Carl was battling hard to run top five in the heat and it was a true battle. Carl and Tyler Villipotto were trading paint when Carl took his eye off the ball and pushed the front end in one of the loose turns. CC5 progressed to the Main as second qualifier and CN23 took a trip to the LCQ.
Carl pulled out all the stops in the LCQ and it was great to see him push for the win on Steven Clarke. An epic four lap dash saw Carl just miss the win but make the cut for the Main in the toughest competition so far. The team were delight with the efforts of both riders – the class of the riders was on show for the packed arena and the team’s faultless performance put them into the Main and in a position to grab some valuable points.
The Head-to-Head races went off as usual with hard moves and full commitment for the precious points. With CC5 pushing for second in the championship just four points behind Aussie Daniel Mcoy.
CC5 dispensed of Neville Bradshaw before meeting Izoird in the semi. With a seemingly comfortable lead coming into the penultimate corner Izoird went for a big move ripping Cyrille’s arm off the bars. Another injury was added to the list on team’s tough guy.
Going into the Head-to-Head final with a dead arm was not ideal against a fired up McCoy so another second was added to the list. The difference to second place would be five points going into the Main with a three point advantage gained in the Pro Team Championship in third place.
The final went off and CC5 ripped his best start of the series making a strong opening lap to move to second place behind Ramette. Carl made the best start he could from the final gate pick and ran strong for the Main, battling to hit mid-pack until a crossed rut took him out of the game and dropped him to 12th.
The battle up front was with Cyrille and the track. McCoy tried to apply the pressure as Cyrille worked the alternative lines as it seems only he can. Ramette ran strong at the front and Cyrille looked for the move from off line.
The only way to pass was to make a take out move and this isn’t how the CC5 gets things done. Our battered and bruised Frenchman gave it everything and Ramette held strong during this clean fight for the win. Cyrille took a strong second place to secure a brilliant third overall for the series. And thanks to Cyrille’s and Carl’s maximum effort the team extended our gap for third in the Pro Team Championship. What a night!
“I am pumped,” said Carl Nunn. “To finish off the series by making the Main and riding at 100% for myself and the team I couldn’t be happier.
“I know how much effort goes into this team and I am incredibly proud to be a part of it. I pushed my limit all day to run with the specialists and try to prove to myself and a few others that I can run with the best on offer.
“This series has been amazing and Matt and the E22 crew have made something very special for the sport that means everything to me personally. The roller coaster ride I have been on with this has been out of control at times with highs and lows.
“I have raced for a very long time and I have had just a few people who have always been there for me. The attitude of the SR75-MOLSON team brought me through the low points of the series which makes the high I am now feeling, even greater. It felt great to raise my game tonight and I thank everyone involved from Geoff! Paul, my absolutely awesome team mate Cyrille and all the sponsors who help make this happen for us” Cyrille Coulon ‘CC5’ Suzuki RMZ450 France.
“I have many pain and I am very happy with my team and my championship, said battered Coulon.
He added: “I want win bad. Very bad, but when I make big crash in Sheffield I know I cannot race for championship. I try recover for big race here in London and I make power to race for my team, my sponsor and myself. I try ride every lap hard and I want to make clean pass with Ramette for the victory tonight.
“I push hard but I make second place. I take this position and I must be happy after my much pain in my body. I want thank my team and all sponsor for make this one of the fantastic experience in my racing. I want also thank Carl for being a great team-mate, this guy is cool. I look forward to more racing adventures with Geoff the Boss this year… Merci Beacoup SR75-MOLSON”
We tried to stop him but Geoff Walker ‘The Boss’ couldn’t help but have his say: “I am pretty emotional after all this… To say this means a lot to me personally is an understatement. Our team partners are the best around and the support we get from outside and inside the industry is off the scale and very much appreciated.
“Our riders are brilliant professionals and have gelled to make this a true team effort. To secure third in the Pro Championship with Cyrille and to take third in the Pro Team Championship is great after the ups and down of this incredible series, which has been a credit to E22 Sports.
“A special mention has to go to all at the Molson Group HQ for their never ending support for this team and indeed the sport. Thank you Carl and Merci Cyrille… I’m off to sleep for a week…”