Team Suzuki Press Office – January 5.

Suzuki dominated the opening round of the 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross Tour powered by Ford Ranger series at Manchester Arena in the UK on Saturday night with SR75-Molson Racing’s reigning champion Thomas Ramette taking victory aboard his RM-Z450.

The 24-year-old Frenchman, running the #1 Red Plate after winning in 2015, qualified fastest and took the win in his opening heat race. He was on the podium again after finishing third in his second heat and also added two additional championship points to his tally after finishing third in the ‘head-to-head’ Shootout Event.

In the 14-lap Main Event, Ramette grabbed the holeshot and was never headed, taking the win as he focuses on back-to-back championship wins with the SR75-Molson Racing Suzuki team.

Said Ramette: “This is a cool way to begin the series, both for the team and myself. I felt pretty tight all day so I know there is a big improvement I can make to take my level higher. I rode a tight race and was quite relaxed in the Final. I got held-up by a back-marker in the final laps and this slowed me down, allowing the other riders to bunch-up, so I just had to fight harder to get away again. I think this victory is even more special because of the quality of the other riders. The team has given me a perfect bike and I cannot say how excited I am to be with these guys on my new RM-Z450.”

Team-mate Cyrille Coulon didn’t get his campaign off to the best start after tangling with another rider in his first heat race and crashing on the opening lap, but he remounted and charged from the back of the field to finish sixth.

In the second heat, a race-long battle with team-mate Ramette saw Coulon finish fourth, but he was forced to go through the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to make the Final. He then set the fastest lap of the race on his way to second place, securing a spot in the Main Event, which he backed-up with a solid fifth place despite being caught-up in another rider’s accident in the first corner on the opening lap and being forced to again charge from the back.

Said Coulon: “My night was tough but I liked the event! I wanted to make better starts but every time I had a problem on first lap so I had big work to do each time. My bike is perfect and I feel good on my Suzuki on the track. My feeling is returning with the RM-Z450 and I am happy with a solid start to the championship for me and my team."

Team Owner Geoff Walker said: “Having come into the series a little under the radar is good to simply get-on with what we do and give 100% to our racing. Ultimately this is what we are about. To come away with 1-5 scores, the Pro Championship lead, as well as the Pro Team Championship lead, is great. Both Thomas and Cyrille give their all for this team every time and this is why we enjoy our racing. As a unit we realise this is a series with another 10 rounds to come. We will continue to get on with it, enjoy what we do; and work to retain our level of race intensity and respect for everyone on track.

“The organisers put on a great championship and we are excited and honoured to be a part of it as a proud UK-based international team with fantastic athletes and team partners from the UK and around the World and I would personally like to thank all involved in what we do”


Full results: CLICK HERE

For more information on the 2016 Monster Energy Arenacross Tour powered by Ford Ranger Championship: CLICK HERE

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