Positive start for LPE and SJR Kawasaki teams in Manchester as Brunell claims podium honours

The Monster Energy Arenacross UK Powered by Ford Ranger Tour kicked off at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night for both LPE Kawasaki Racing team of Fabien Izoird and Florent Richier and the SJR Kawasaki team of Josh Hansen and Jack Brunell.

The day started with the practice and qualifying sessions which saw the riders quickly get settled into the track layout and a were soon setting fast lap times with Hansen topping the first qualifying session ahead of Brunell in 3rd and in the other session Izoird was second fastest with team mate Richier in 7th.

In the second sessions the groups were swapped around and Izoird finished the session 3rd fastest with Richier in 6th. In the other group Brunell topped the group with Hansen 6th fastest. After the two sessions were combined it was Izoird who finished 3rd fastest with Brunell 6th, Hansen 7th and Richier 11th going into the evening show.

Following the excitement of the opening ceremony it was time for the opening heat races of the night. In the first Heat race both LPE riders Izoird and Richier lined up alongside SJR rider Josh Hansen and when the gate dropped Izoird was in 3rd at the end of the whoops section with Hansen just behind in 5th. Hansen was pushing hard early on and quickly moved into third place. Unfortunately Florent Richier made a mistake on the opening lap and went down and retired from the race with a twisted front end. As the race progressed Hansen moved into second and was pushing Ramette at the front as the pair crossed the line just a bike length apart with Izoird in third.

In the second heat race SJR rider Jack Brunell lined up and fired into the lead as they entered the whoops sections but made a small mistake on the opening lap and slipped back to second behind Cedric Sourbeyras. As the race progressed Brunnell pushed hard to close down Sourbeyras but had to settle for 2rd.

The second round of heats saw Brunell and Izoird line up in the first heat and it was Brunell who gated in second ahead of Izoird in fourth. On the second lap Izoird moved onto the back wheel of the leading group and quickly moved into second place where he would remain at the finish, while Brunell would make a small mistake and slip back to 6th at the finish.

The final heat race of the night saw Hansen and Richier take to the gate and it was Hansen that fired into third place early on, while Richier got caught up behind another rider. Hansen was feeling much better on the track and soon moved from 3rd into the lead and pulling away for a comfortable race win, while LPE rider Richier pulled through to 7th at the finish but would have to face the LCQ. 

Before the LCQ it was time for the Head to Head race and in the opening round Hansen would beat his team mate Brunell on his way to finishing second in the final and the all-important three championship points. Meanwhile Izoird would go out at the first stage at the hands of a tough move by Matt Bayliss.

After missing out on a transfer to the Main Event via the LCQ, Florent Richier was given the promoter’s choice for the last place on the line & started on the second row for the final. When the gate dropped for the final there was drama from the first turn as Izoird got his foot caught in his back wheel, and Hansen would collide with Pellegrini and both had to remount at the back of the field. Out front Brunell had escaped the drama and was running in second with Richier in 6th. As the race progressed Izoird was moving up the order and was soon into 4th place behind Brunell who had slipped back to 3rd. When the race finished it was Brunell who put the SJR Kawasaki on the podium in 3rd place with LPE riders Izoird in 4th and Richier in 7th ahead of Hansen in 8th on the second SJR Kawasaki.

Fabien Izoird – LPE Kawasaki – the results are not really what I would have liked but I was 3rd fastest in the qualifying which was good for my first ride on the bike. In the Head to Head I received an aggressive move by Bayliss and went down. Then in the final I crashed by myself on the first corner and had to come back from last to finish 4th just behind Jack. It would have been good to get on the podium but I’m now looking forward to next weekend in Glasgow.

Florent Richier – LPE Kawasaki – tonight was not great due to pain that I’m suffering in my left knee, so I was trying to ride safe on a track with a lot of left hand turns. In the races I was unlucky and had to go to the LCQ and the got into the Main via the Promoters choice. In the main I rode better and secured a solid 7th which is a good start to a long series.

Jack Brunell – SJR Kawasaki – I couldn’t have asked for anything better tonight, on the start I had 8th pick and was on the outside but I got a mega start. The bike has been really good out of the gate all night and I was in second behind Ramette and just rode steady until the last couple of laps when Sourbeyras passed me and then Izoird was right behind be on the last corner so I had to take him high to secure the podium, which I’m really happy with after the last year, so now I can hopefully build on this.

Josh Hansen -SJR Kawasaki – today has been really fun, it’s definitely a lot different to the events that I normally race but I had fun and I’m safe. In the main event I finally got a start and last until the second corner when another rider t-boned me and I had to restart from the back. In this style of racing if you crash then your race is almost over but I’ve learnt a lot and I’m looking forward to next weekend.

Steve James – Team Manager – it’s been a long day with lots of ups and downs and we had our fair share of bad luck what with one thing or another, but all four riders rode very well and finished inside the top 8 so I can’t really complain. Jack rode mega to get a podium finish in the main event I’m so happy for him after the year he had last year with injury it was great to see him back up there, both Fabien and Josh had problems just after the start of the final. Fabien got his foot in the back wheel and had to set off at the back of the pack but charged through to 4th which was awesome and Josh went down on the second corner after another rider couldn’t stop and took him down. But he also got back on at the back and came through to finish 8th which again was very good. Florent has had a really tough day with his injured knee and he ended up in a crash in every race through no fault of his own and was feeling pretty down and thought his night was over but he got lucky and got into the main via the promoters choice and then finished in a solid 7th in the Main so the night ended a lot better than he expected. So all in all it ended up been a pretty good night with SJR finishing the night second in the team championship ahead of LPE Kawasaki in third. It’s the first round so nobody knew what to expect but now we do and we know it’s going to be a very tough but exciting Tour with lots of great teams and very strong riders. It’s also a long Championship with ten rounds still to go so we are now really looking forward to the next round in Glasgow.

I’d like to thank all the riders, mechanics and team members for a fantastic job this weekend it’s hard enough running one team but two is hard work but we pulled it off and I’m very proud of everyone for this, well done guys, plus a massive thank you to each and every one of our sponsors for both Teams, L.P.E Kawasaki Racing and SJR Kawasaki couldn’t run without your input so thank you all.

Pro Main Event

Pos

Name

Sponsor

Make

Points

1

Thomas Ramette

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

20

2

Cedric Soubeyras

Geartec Yamaha

Yamaha

18

3

Jack Brunell

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

16

4

Fabien Izoird

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

15

5

Cyrille Coulon

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

14

6

Adam Chatfield

Buildbase Honda

Honda

13

7

Florent Richier

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

12

8

Josh Hansen

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

11

9

Matt Bayliss

Wooldridge Demolition

Honda

10

10

Angelo Pellegrini

Buildbase Honda

Honda

9

11

Gradie Featherstone

Xbladez Husqvarna

Husqvarna

8

Pro Championship

Pos

Name

Total

 

 

1

Cedric Soubeyras

22

 

 

2

Thomas Ramette

22

 

 

3

Jack Brunell

16

 

 

4

Fabien Izoird

15

 

 

5

Cyrille Coulon

14

 

 

6

Josh Hansen

14

 

 

7

Adam Chatfield

13

 

 

8

Florent Richier

12

 

 

9

Matt Bayliss

11

 

 

10

Angelo Pellegrini

9

 

 

11

Gradie Featherstone

8

 

 

12

Chris Bayliss

4

 

 

13

Jordan Booker

3

 

 

14

Daniel McCoy

2

 

 

15

Jake Vella

1

 

 

16

Shane Carless

0

 

 

17

Harri Kullas

0

 

 

18

James Dunn

0

 

 

19

Ashley Greedy

0

 

 

 Team Championship

1

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

36

2

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

30

3

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

27

4

Geartec Yamaha

Yamaha

23

5

Buildbase Honda

Honda

22

6

Wooldridge Demolition

Honda

15

7

Xbladez Husqvarna

Husqvarna

8

8

Hitachi Revo Husqvarna

Husqvarna

3

9

MVRD Fuel Husqvarna

Husqvarna

2

10

Shocktech Honda

Honda

0

Photo Credit www.arenacrossuk.com / e22 Sports & Anthony Sutton / TMX News