SR75 World Team Suzuki GB went 1-1 to dominate the SX Tour Geneva finale and secure an incredible double championship overall podium with Thomas Ramette as the vice champion and Cyrille Coulon in third. It was a stunning end to our first year as a global supercross race team.
The Geneva Finale attracted a whole host of Monster Energy Supercross superstars and this presented a cool challenge, as the SX Tour race, which was scored separately from the international feature, took place during both nights action.
Friday saw Tom struggle with his neck injury from Paris-Lille a few weeks ago and, with a five-point deficit to Cedric Soubeyras, he had to be at his best to try to take the championship. Cyrille, on the other hand, was buzzing with vitality from lap one of free training as he once again amazed everyone with his increasing speed and power on a very tough track. After some tough challenges in the semi finals, which included a fallen Marvin Musquin halting Thomas' progress in turn two of the race, the guys made it directly to the main where an epic race would develop.
In that final, Ramette got tagged by Musquin after he himself was tagged by Justin Barcia. There would then be a battle for TR to regain positions in the stacked field. Cyrille took a controlled first lap to remain just in the top ten and then he began his incredible push through the field, as his championship podium rival Valentin Teillet enjoyed a great first few laps closer to the front. Cyrille carved his way through as Thomas worked his way to the back of a group that consisted of CC5, Soubeyras and Teillet.
Coulon turned it up a gear and pushed his level as he worked past both the guys in front to take control of the SX Tour race and, with the track taking a hammering, mistakes were going to happen. There was some great racing between the front three, with Ramette just unable to get around the group. Cyrille dug in like the true beast he is and worked his ass off to take an amazing SX Tour race victory, as well as a superb sixth behind the superstars. Cyrille extended his gap to Teillet to nine points and Thomas now faced a nine-point deficit to the championship lead.
We had euphoria for Cyrille and his incredible performance and of course disappointment for TR at losing a little more ground in the championship but, as always, the maximum effort was given. We couldn't ask for more!
Saturday got off to a warm start with some ‘heat' on track, but when things settled down we focussed on making the best race and results possible in the night programme. With Cyrille's confidence up it was going to be difficult for anyone to take third in the championship off of him! Thomas found some fire and with the treatment on his neck beginning to work he was loosening up and fully ready to race. Strong semi-final pace saw both guys safely though in fourth and fifth. Ramette held his own at the front through the first few laps, as a silky-smooth Marvin Musquin showed him some lines and craft.
The final went off with a bang and both guys ran strong after some more carnage in the first few turns. Ramette was running in the top three and battling with Malcolm Stewart and Justin Barcia, as he tried to not only work on the race but also his solid pace in the SX Tour championship chase. Coulon was on fire, followed Barcia around Soubeyras and looked like he was on an inspired podium mission. It was great to see our guys ride together in the middle of an incredible arena of noise and passion from the Swiss race fans, as they once again witnessed racing of the highest order. Musquin, Brayton, Stewart, Barcia, Ramette and Coulon were the class of the field.
The SX Tour race with Coulon and Ramette was fantastic, as they pushed on in fifth and sixth just behind the Barcia/Stewart battle for international podium glory. Both guys were riding solid and, with just a handful of laps to go, we were on for a glorious 1-2 until a fallen rider and a lack of yellow flags from the marshals cost Cyrille his lead and almost his health. Cyrille could not avoid a fallen Valentin Teillet and both riders were lucky to escape with only a few injuries. Thomas just avoided the carnage to move clear for victory and an epic fifth in the international classification, whilst Cyrille dusted himself off and got to the flag.
The level reached by both guys in this race was amazing and a testament to just how hard they work to achieve the team's goals. To give an idea of the pace and class of this race, only five riders finished on the lead lap! Musquin, Brayton, Stewart, Barcia and our man Thomas Ramette filled that group.
After a non-stop year to take another overall championship double overall podium coupled with both our guys taking a victory each is an almost perfect way to round out an incredible 2016. We may have just missed out on the championship, but we are all proud of our guy's achievements over the insane forty-seven nights of supercross that were undertaken. Our Suzuki UK and USA bikes together with all our tech suppliers equipment have been perfect. Our guys have performed at the very highest level consistently and given one hundred and ten percent in every moment, along with our awesome race day staff in the UK, France and the USA.
We would like to thank the organisers of all series that we have raced like Monster Energy Supercross, SX Tour, Hexis Pro Cup SX, AXUK, British MX and the various international promotors who have looked after our guys.
Words: Press Release | Image: Sean Ogden