Podium and Mixed Results for LPE and SJR Kawasaki at Newcastle

Following the drama and troubles of Birmingham last weekend, both LPE and SJR Kawasaki teams headed to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle for rounds 8 and 9 of the Monster Energy Arenacross Tour powered by Ford Ranger. With the loss of Fabien Izoird due to injury and Josh Hansen’s early departure saw Xavier Boog join the LPE team and Julien Bill for the SJR team.
Saturday started with the practice and qualifying sessions and it was in form Jack Brunell and Florent Richier who continued to produce strong lap times on the challenging Newcastle track to qualify in fifth and sixth places respectively. Meanwhile newcomers Xavier Boog and Julien Bill joined the sessions for extra bike time and preparations for the evening’s main show.
The evening started with the heat races and in the opening heat Brunell rode well to secure a solid third place ahead of Boog in fourth and Bill just behind in seventh. In the second heat race Richier started the night with a solid fourth place finish.
The night continued with the second set of heat races which saw Richier and Brunell finish third and fourth, with Bill in seventh and having to face the LCQ. The final heat race saw Boog take another fourth place finish which saw transfer straight to the Main Event.
Next up was the LCQ and with only two transferring to the Main Event, Bill struggled from the start and pushed hard to move forward but could only make third place at the flag and missed the Main Event.
In the Head to Head races it was Richier who progressed to the final against Soubeyras, while Brunell and Boog going out in the opening rounds. In the final Richier would lose out to Soubeyras but still claim three valuable championship points.
The Main Event saw Brunell start well and in third place early on, while Richier and Boog were further back but pushing hard. At the mid race Brunell had closed the gap on Ramette in second but was unable to make a move by the finish and would claim third ahead of Richier in fourth and Boog in fifth.
Sunday
Following a podium finish and solid results the previous evening, both teams were looking to improve their results. Following the mornings qualifying session it was Brunell who was the fastest team member in third, with Richier in fourth, Boog seventh and Bill in tenth.
The opening heat saw Brunell and Boog both lined up behind the gate and it was Brunell who started well in second and rode well to finish in that position. Boog pushed forward to claim fourth on the final lap. The second heat race would see Richier take the holeshot and early lead but would slip back to second at the flag with Bill in seventh.
The second set of heat races would see Richier suffer a tough race finishing in sixth place. In the final heat race, Boog, Brunell and Bill all lined up behind the gate and it was Boog who made the start with Brunell in third. As the race progressed Boog couldn’t withstand the pressure from Soubeyras and would finish second with Brunell in third and Bill in sixth and facing the LCQ once again. In the LCQ Bill would miss the transfer spot to the Main event and see his night end early.
In the Head to Head races saw all three riders unfortunately slip out in the first round and miss out on the extra points.
Next up was the Main Event and as the gate dropped all three riders struggled out of the gate and it was Brunell who started to move forward early on, while Boog got taken out by another rider on the second corner. Richier had a nightmare as he went backwards while struggling to get into his rhythm and ended up battling with Boog as the pair finished ninth and tenth. Meanwhile Brunell had worked his way onto the back of third place, when Coulon pushed his back to fifth only to regain fourth on the run to the finish line.
The weekend ended with Brunell sitting sixth in the points standings with just one point off the top 5 with Richier just behind in seventh. The newcomers Boog and Bill now sit 15th and 19th in the championship after two rounds of the tour. In the Team championship LPE Kawasaki remain second with SJR Kawasaki in fourth as both teams now have a weekend off before heading to Sheffield on the 13th February.
Florent Richier – LPE Kawasaki – Saturday was a good day for me, my riding was good and I felt comfortable. In the Head to Head I finished in second and then in the Main Event I finished in fourth. Going into Sunday the qualifying went well and then finished second in the first heat race. Then in the second heat race I hurt my knee and finished sixth. Going into the Main I was feeling a bit of pain and then I got caught in a first corner crash and finished tenth. I’m now looking forward towards the next round at Sheffield.
Xavier Boog – LPE Kawasaki – Each time I got the bike it was better and on the first day I suffered with bad gate picks so I had to fight from the back of the field every time. Then on the second day my starts were better until the final when another rider took me out and was the reason for my poor result. Overall it was a good weekend, I enjoyed it a lot and I would like to thank the team for giving me a really good bike.
Jack Brunell – SJR Kawasaki – The weekend started off good, I had a good feeling on the bike and the track. The track was really soft and technical but that suits my style so I was enjoying it. I put two good lap times in during timed training so it gave me 5th gate pick for the evening show. I had a good heat race coming in 2nd and 3rd. I was against Thomas in the Head to Head and on the last corner I went down. Then in the final I started in 3rd and rode a solid race to come home on the podium which I was really happy as I felt good on the track. During Sunday’s time training everything went great out with another two great laps and I ended up with 3rd fastest. Heat 1 I had a good ride coming in 2nd then in Heat 2 I got 3rd so went through to the final easy. In the Head to Head I was against Adam and it was fun, just missing out on the last corner and we come across the line together. The final I didn’t get a great start but got into 5th behind Adam. Then someone went down pushing me up to 4th. I tried to get passed Adam a few times but came off the racing line and lost time. Coulon ended up getting around me when I was pushing to pass Adam so I passed him back and was on the back of Adam but couldn’t manage to pass him so ended up 4th. Overall I was happy to get on the podium and have a solid weekend.
Julien Bill – SJR Kawasaki – My weekend was positive overall as every time I entered the track I felt better on the bike and was faster. The 1st night was kind of a practice to me as I’d never rode the bike before then the 2nd night was ok even if I never found the way to start at front but I was 4th in my heat until I stalled the bike. I learned a lot this weekend and I’ll be more competitive in Sheffield for sure and I can’t wait for it!
Steve James – Team Manager – L.P.E and SJR Kawasaki – Another Crazy weekend with highs and lows! It was always going to be a tough one losing Fabien the way we did which was so cruel and hard to take for him, me and the whole team. Fabien is totally gutted that he is unable to finish the tour due to his injury and with Josh departing from the Tour it left us with two massive pairs of boots to fill. You can’t just replace riders of that calibre overnight as its almost impossible. I had just 4 days to sort 2 riders, plus graphics, kit etc but with the help of a few great people I managed to bring in Julien Bill and Xavier Boog at the 11th hour. Both these riders have great pedigree and are good riders but the level of the Arenacross Tour this year is so high it’s hard enough for any new rider’s that haven’t raced Arenacross before to come into the series at the beginning, let alone over half way through when the Tour is in full swing everybody is hauling.
They both did a fantastic job, Julien was very unlucky not to make it to the Main on both nights but he actually hasn’t raced for a good few months. He came in totally blind jumping onto a bike he hasn’t ridden before so fair play to him and at least for the next round he knows more what to expect. Xavier is familiar with the Kawasaki as he rides for Bud Racing in France but he admitted he hadn’t done much riding as he was coming back from injury. He gathered pace quickly qualified for the Main and the Head to Head both nights and didn’t disgrace himself. Fifth place on the first night was a great result and on Sunday he was riding a lot better with a 2nd in one of the heat races. If he had not been taken out in the final I think it would have been interesting to see because he could have got on the podium for sure he was in 2nd. Hopefully he can do it next time. It is a shame though that’s the third time one of my riders has had a final ruined by being taken down in the second corner, Hansen got taken down in Manchester and had to start from the back, then Fabien in a carbon copy incident by the same rider in Birmingham resulting in a broken leg and ruining Fabien’s chances of the title and now again in Newcastle.
Flo Richier had a good night on Saturday with 2nd in the Head to Head and 4th in the final bringing him up to 7th in the Pro Championship which is great but Sunday everything went wrong for him and he just couldn’t find his groove but he was still in the final and still scored points so it’s not all bad.
Jack Brunell rode awesome all weekend I’m really happy with the way Jack is riding at the moment he’s looking good and got a podium on Saturday and a 4th on Sunday to keep chipping away at the top five in the Championship. All four riders contributed to both the teams’ points in the Pro Team Title which is also very important to us and all our sponsors. We were 2nd and 3rd on the night on Saturday and stayed in the top five on Sunday to keep both Teams in with a shot of finishing in the top three.
We also welcomed Jimmy Margetson back to the L.P.E Team this weekend, Jimmy finished 3rd in last year’s MXY2 Championship but had a nasty crash last year and has been out with injury for months until he was given the all clear to ride 2 weeks ago so it was great to see him back and this time competing in the Pro Lites. He had some strong results in what is a very strong class, hopefully Jimmy can challenge for top five at the next 2 rounds
Thanks again to everyone involved for helping us get this mad week sorted and working hard over the weekend it is very much appreciated.

Saturday Pro Main Event

 

Pos

Name

Sponsor

Make

1

Cedric Soubeyras

Geartec Yamaha

Yamaha

2

Thomas Ramette

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

3

Jack Brunell

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

4

Florent Richier

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

5

Xavier Boog

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

6

Cyrille Coulon

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

7

Adam Chatfield

Buildbase Honda

Honda

8

Harri Kullas

MVRD Fuel Husqvarna

Husqvarna

9

Collin Jurin

Xbladez Husqvarna

Husqvarna

10

Jordan Booker

Hitachi Revo Husqvarna

Husqvarna

DNF

Angelo Pellegrini

Buildbase Honda

Honda

 

Sunday Pro Main Event

 

Pos

Name

Sponsor

Make

1

Cedric Soubeyras

Geartec Yamaha

Yamaha

2

Thomas Ramette

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

3

Adam Chatfield

Buildbase Honda

Honda

4

Jack Brunell

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

5

Cyrille Coulon

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

6

Matt Bayliss

Wooldridge Demolition

Honda

7

Harri Kullas

MVRD Fuel Husqvarna

Husqvarna

8

Collin Jurin

Xbladez Husqvarna

Husqvarna

9

Xavier Boog

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

10

Florent Richier

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

DNF

Angelo Pellegrini

Buildbase Honda

Honda

 

Pro Championship

 

Pos

Name

Total

1

Cedric Soubeyras

171

2

Thomas Ramette

163

3

Cyrille Coulon

139

4

Fabien Izoird

128

5

Adam Chatfield

116

6

Jack Brunell

115

7

Florent Richier

101

8

Angelo Pellegrini

100

9

Matt Bayliss

99

10

Josh Hansen

79

11

Collin Jurin

65

12

Harri Kullas

54

13

James Dunn

32

14

Jordan Booker

27

15

Xavier Boog

24

16

Ashley Greedy

16

17

Chris Bayliss

11

18

Gradie Featherstone

8

19

Julien Bill

7

20

Shane Carless

5

 

Team Championship

 

Pos

Team

Make

Total

1

SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki

Suzuki

302

2

LPE Kawasaki

Kawasaki

253

3

Buildbase Honda

Honda

216

4

SJR Kawasaki

Kawasaki

201

5

Geartec Yamaha

Yamaha

174

Photo Credit www.arenacrossuk.com / e22 Sports