The Metro Arena in Newcastle is always a tough stop on the Monster Energy Arenacross powered by Ford Ranger Tour and this year proved to be no exception for the SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki team, who fought sickness to bring home two podium positions at the weekend.
Thomas Ramette was buzzing after his double victory last week in Birmingham and fellow Frenchman Cyrille Coulon was looking to continue his solid improvements in qualifying and push for victories.
Saturday training set the team back a little with Ramette hitting a soft patch on a rhythm section take-off, resulting in a massive crash. After straightening the bike and recovering his senses he managed to nail yet another pole position with Coulon second overall.
The heat races went smoothly for Ramette apart from a stone lodging in the clutch arm causing some issues in his second heat while Coulon struggled with lap one contact in both his heats to eventually take his spot in the Main via victory in the LCQ.
The final was always going to be a controlled affair with Ramette carrying an arm injury from Belfast as well as more hand damage after his morning crash. But he rode a smart race to claim second with Coulon battling all the way to sixth on the tightest and softest track of the year so far.
With some further bike changes Ramette went into day two with a new energy and set a blistering pace for another pole position while Coulon worked on lines for a steady qualifying session.
Both riders were fired up for the Main Event but with yet another cruel twist both became sick with food poisoning and, as the show was about to start, the guys were in real trouble. But both men dug deep with Ramette taking second and Coulon fifth, underlining their integrity and professionalism.
With two rounds remaining Ramette sits second in the Pro championship just eight points behind the leader, while Coulon is third a further 24 points adrift. In the Team championship SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki holds a commanding 49-point lead.
Thomas Ramette 2-2:
“I am sorry for everyone I got sick because I felt good today on the bike. I did my best to push but my body did not work with the sickness so I rode with control. This was hardest race of my life to stay focussed and make it to the finish.
“I cannot wait for Sheffield and London as these are my favourite races. I want to thank everyone for everything they do for me and I look for a 100 per cent strong finish to this series.”
Cyrille Coulon 6-5:
“This weekend was tough for me with being sick. This track is a little small so I was too careful for look for the other riders and not make contact. I made my solid results and I cannot wait to race Sheffield and London as I like these races very much. I thank my team and I congratulate Thomas on fantastic results.”
Geoff Walker – Team Owner:
“What can I say? Once again the riders show what they are made of. Personally I have no idea how they did as well as they did with the sickness today. I can only thank them for getting on with it and getting the job done.
“This series didn't give us much hope of success with the riders brought in by the organisers but we are still in with a great shout for the Pro championship and anyone who knows me personally knows we will not give up. Our lead in the Pro team championship speaks for itself and the fact that Thomas has given his all to get back into the hunt after the two take-outs speaks volumes for his character. We will come back strong.
“I want to thanks our riders, all our amazing team partners and of course Paul and Tone for their hard work over the weekend in difficult circumstances.”
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