The opening round of the fantastic 2015 Arenacross UK tour took place in Manchester at the weekend (January 3) and we, as a team, went into the event with open minds and smiles on our faces.
Cyrille CC5 Coulon has been working hard to make it back to race fitness and our new recruit and wild child, Thomas TR6 Ramette has been building speed and momentum to be ready to peak for the beginning of this very tough tour.
The SR75-MOLSON Racing bikes have undergone every change necessary and the experience gained from our USA/AMA Supercross racing together with our technical partners at FMF racing HQ in California has helped in all levels of the preparation of the team’s machines.
When our racers take to the track there are no excuses and there is no room for this in our philosophy as a team. Sh*t will happen sometimes in this series and if at all possible we get up and get on with the job, this is what it means to be a SR rider.
Free practice and the two qualifying sessions went well for both Cyrille and Thomas with the new format of combining the times from each session to determine the fastest rider for pole position.
Thomas and Cyrille both rode with a level of control, during these sessions to make quality laps ending with fastest and seventh overall times when the groups where combined.
The show, as always with the e22 crew (the event organiser) was amazing and when the racing started – with both our guys in heats one and then again in three – we knew getting both CC and TR in the Main would be tough even with the pace and experience they both have, but very achievable if things went our way.
Heat one was good for both as Thomas had to make moves after a mid-pack start to eventually ease to the front after a couple of laps while Cyrille on his Kawasaki KX450SR paced himself into the race to take an eventual fifth place.
Heat 3 and both racers had work to do again to cut through the pack. Nothing was easy and nothing should be easy in this sport. This is why we do it. Cyrille ran a strong fourth for pretty much the entire Heat after making moves from the back in the first lap but it was Thomas, his body, and indeed his Shoei helmet who would feel the true force of Arenacross UK when he took a small tumble only to find himself fully run over by another rider.
Seeing stars for a couple of laps, TR6 dusted himself off and cracked on to eventually take an amazing eighth.
The efforts of both riders came off with direct qualifying to the Main event in sixth and ninth places, qualifying Thomas a run out in the head-to-head races.
The head-to-head races where once again pretty wild and Thomas used his head and raced clean taking his luck when needed and making moves as necessary.
A slip in the final of the head-to-heads and a cool head saw TR6 take three precious championship points to the Main.
The final of every AX race is always wild and we, as a team, respect everyone out there making ‘the show’. Thomas was finding energy after being smashed and Cyrille quietly went about his preparation as I have seen him do in all venues in AX and in the States.
An incredibly focused TR6 took a hard holeshot and took control of the race from the front riding with no risk, solid laps, and an incredible level of coolness on the gnarly and testing track.
CC5 went for the ‘perfect storm’ from the gate and a slight miss-timing saw him hit the gate, this was going to be a tough Main but as always with Cyrille he got down to business and worked himself into an eventual eighth place at the flag.
Thomas on the Suzuki RM-Z450SR showed great control and strength throughout the final to nail down consistent laps throughout, never once riding above his level while others pushed hard to try to catch his consistent and controlled lap speed.
Good hard racing and getting to the chequers is the key and a battered and bruised Thomas Ramette took those chequers to bring this team an amazing success story, especially when you consider the beating TR6 got up from in his Heat race. This is Arenacross UK and it is not for the weak…
“I am incredible happy with the race,” enthused CC5. “Everything I work for in my recovery is for this and for my team. I want to make the Main event and race strong as I can on the day.
“I am working not near my maximum but I will come back in Belfast and make another improvement. When I race I make no excuse, this was what I can do today after I hit the gate but I enjoyed my race with the other good guys on the track, which like race clean and fight hard.
“Thanks to my team and all sponsors for SR75-MOLSON RACING, we made a perfect bike and I want to win. I congratulate Thomas on his race and I know how hard everyone works with this team. See you in Belfast AXUK.”
Thomas Ramette ‘TR6’ RM-Z450SR
“I am very, very happy with this race and to make the win in Manchester with the fantastic atmosphere, I could not be happier,” said a delighted TR6.
“My bike, my team and everything around me worked well and with some problems after my Heat race I knew I had to take a deep breath and make my work as this is the only way to make a championship, and to ride for this hard working team.
“I thank every person involved and I look forward to racing hard in the next seven races to see what can be possible for me, my team-mate Cyrille and the team. This is an amazing feeling. Thank you.”
Commenting on an amazing night for the team, Geoff Walker ‘The Boss’ said: “To say I am proud of my riders is an understatement. They are two very tough guys and give this team everything they have in effort and personality.
“We work very hard and it is fantastic to take the win with Thomas and I am sure all who where present in Manchester where able to see just how much passion we carry in this team.
“I really cannot stress how much of a team effort and unit we are. Our riders are amazing professionals and the race day crew keep things in top shape between the races. I cannot thank all our team partners enough for the support they give us year after year and I would like to thank all at E22 for what they give the sport through this series.
“We worked, we arrived and we raced as hard and smart as we could on the day.”