SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki’s Thomas Ramette and Cyrille Coulon were forced to dig deep to get through rounds four and five of the Monster Energy Arenacross Tour powered by Ford Ranger at Belfast’s SSE Arena on Friday and Saturday night, notching a Main Event win and a podium aboard their RM-Z450s.
Both riders looked at home and fast on Friday’s opening night with defending champion Ramette taking Pole in qualification and Coulon slotting into third. Ramette then showed great control to win both his heat races as his team-mate suffered a heavy crash on the second lap of his opening heat.
With a badly damaged bike and bruised rider, the teamwork was evident as the RM-Z450 was repaired for the second heat. Unfortunately, another big crash sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier but the Frenchman showed his class to progress to the Main Event.
The final was epic with Ramette getting a great start and riding smooth in second behind Josh Hansen. Coulon again hit the deck in the early laps while trying to avoid contact with Cedric Soubeyras but another monumental comeback ride saw him battle from last to an eventual fifth at the flag.
While Coulon was slugging it out in the pack, Ramette took advantage of a mistake by Hansen to take the lead and taking victory after a hard-but-clean challenge from Fabien Izoird in the closing laps.
With the track softer for Saturday’s fifth round Ramette again topped qualifying as Coulon, in a considerable amount of pain, toughed it out.
Both progressed through their heat races to the Main Event where Ramette took an early lead before a mistake allowed Izoird, while Coulon looked strong in a top-five position.
As he started his last lap, comfortably in second and defending his lines cleanly, a rider hit Ramette’s arm, tearing his hand from the handlebars and causing him to crash and finish ninth as Coulon put on an amazing performance to finish on the podium with third place.
Thomas Ramette – 1st-9th:
“Friday for me was really cool with victory and a great feeling with the Suzuki to take points back after last week’s incident cost me many points. Saturday I don’t really know what to say as the boss instills into us the absolute need to focus only on our race. I will recover and get on with my racing. I really must thank everyone involved with this team, I really am having the best time representing all involved in this team. I want to congratulate Cyrille on his strength to come back from tough times for two great results in the races.”
Cyrille Coulon – 5th-3rd:
“I have big pain this weekend with crashes and I want to work for my team and myself to make strong results in the championship. Friday was tough and I made good passes to make progress in the race. On Saturday I took third place on the podium, but I am not happy because Thomas really deserved a podium.
“My bike is more perfect every week I race and the team worked hard to rebuild my bike after many big crashes. Thanks to my team and all our awesome sponsors.”
Geoff Walker – Team Owner:
“Once again I am lost for words at the strength of character of both riders. Both riders give their absolute best for this team as two of the nicest and coolest humans I know and I thank them both for this.
“I have seen some great racing over the past couple of weeks from some great professional athletes and the level of respect for the most part is fantastic. We are all in the series to push for success and we will continue, as always, with maximum respect for all our rivals and fellow professional teams.
“I would like to thank Paul and Tony as well as my father Jimmy W for their hard work over the weekend as well as all our Northern Ireland friends and family for cheering the loudest for our riders.
“Thomas and Cyrille are sitting third and fourth in the Pro championship standings and the series still hasn’t reached the halfway point so I’m confident we are still strong challengers. In the Team championship we extended our lead further so there are a lot of positives to come out of Belfast.”