Thomas Ramette closed in on the 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross Tour, powered by Ford Ranger, series lead with a double win at rounds six and seven of the championship at Birmingham’s Genting Arena at the weekend.
Heading into the event on the back of a disappointing result at round five when he had come off worst after some aggressive riding by his rivals, the Frenchman – along with team-mate Cyrille Coulon – was completely focussed on the job in hand.
Both riders used the Saturday morning sessions to work on lines and qualified comfortably for the main event where Thomas ran second for almost half the race with Cyrille a close and controlled third. Both guys then pulled the pin on Flo Richier and held first and second until Fabien Izoird squeezed a pro pass on Cyrille in the closing laps.
At the finish all three racers knew they had been involved in one of the most exciting races in AXUK history with a show of class and power.
Track changes for Sunday’s seventh round made for an interesting morning with plenty of crashes but both Cyrille and Thomas took things relatively easy in the early sessions to remain focussed on the main event.
Cyrille qualified first for the main event but missed out on a big haul of bonus points when he injured his hand in his head-to-head semi-final.
The main went off with a bang with Thomas battling for the lead. Unfortunately, Izoird was injured in an incident in the second turn, sustaining a championship-ending broken leg. The race was red-flagged because of the incident and the restart was again red-flagged after another crash.
The final restart saw Thomas again get away well but Cyrille was pushed off the track in the second turn.
Thomas showed great pace and maturity to lead all the way to the flag but Cyrille had his work cut out, battling back to fourth before more contact almost took him down. He then crashed heavily after a coming together with the same rider but fought his way through to seventh.
With four rounds remaining Thomas sits third in the Pro Championship standings just seven points off the lead with Cyrille a further nine points behind in fourth. In the Team Championship SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki has a 31-point lead.
“I am of course happy with my results this weekend,” said Ramette when asked about his impressive 1-1 result. “I want to show I will not take people giving me sh*t when I race as a professional and I am here to race at my maximum for my team and to try to recover the lost points to make a strong challenge for this championship.
“I am enjoying every single lap in my racing with the best feeling in my career so I thank all sponsors and I want say thank you to Cyrille for being a fantastic team-mate. To stand on the podium Saturday night with great riders and friends – Cyrille and Fabien – is a dream for me and I wish Fabien a fast recovery.”
Cyrille Coulon who finished the weekend with 3-7 said: “I make good laps all weekend and I have a fantastic feeling with my bike in these conditions. I know my feeling is good and I race good. It was a nice race on Saturday with Thomas and Fabien for a podium result. I push in final and I look for clean pass with Thomas but all guys going very fast in podium positions.
“Sunday I injure my hand and I have to come from behind. I make good progress but final lap was no good with blocking so I crash. I know I can make podium in both races so I am disappointed to lose points. I want to wish a good recovery to my friend Fabien and thank my awesome team guys.”
Geoff Walker, team owner at SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki summed up the weekend for the close-knit team: “For Thomas to have now taken four wins and a fourth in the races where he has been allowed to race shows the growing class of this young man as an SR75 athlete and family member. As a team we really enjoy these moments as we know just how tough this sport really is.
“Both riders again raised their game and of course we are incredibly pleased with the results. Thomas and Cyrille again gave everything over this weekend in some tough circumstances and to take two victories and another podium for Cyrille is amazing.
“We have amazing support from all our sponsors and friends and the riders really appreciate absolutely everything they have in this team to make these results through their incredible skill as racers. The staff and bikes were again great and again I thank everyone involved in what we do.
“I would like to add just how excited we all are to release the news that not only has Thomas signed globally for SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki but Cyrille has now agreed to represent the team in 2016. I am absolutely elated to have both guys representing our team this year and I thank them both for their hard work.”