DOUBLE IRISH PODIUM FOR TEKA SUZUKI
Both of Team Teka Suzuki WMX1's racers Steve Ramon and Ken de Dycker proudly stood on the podium at the Grand Prix of Ireland after they finished second and third overall after two tough races at the Fairyhouse circuit that's situated to the North West of Dublin.
After setting pole in the previous day's timed qualifying session De Dycker was confident of scoring well in today's points-paying races. And after working his way to the front from a third place start in moto one De Dycker dominated the moto while entertaining the Irish race fans with his stylish high flying antics. After forging a safe gap between himself and the rest of the pack he finally cruised across the line two and a half seconds ahead of his closest competition after almost 39 minutes of gruelling on track action.
Not getting the best of starts in moto two De Dycker soon found his way past David Philippaerts and into third but couldn't find a rhythm or settle into a good pace. After slipping back to fifth he spent the middle part of the moto regrouping before being able to come back strong in the second half of the 35-minute plus two lap moto to secure third position in the individual race and second overall on the day courtesy of his 1-3 scorecard.
"The first race was good even though I didn't have such a good start," said De Dycker. "I found it easy to come through and when I was in the lead I found it easy to control the race from there. I was so relaxed and my lines were working well - it was a very enjoyable ride.
"I got a bad start in the second moto and I struggled early on because the lines were so different than in the first moto and I couldn't find a good pace so I started to get angry with myself. This cost me some energy I think and I was also making a lot of mistakes which cost me time. I was happy to finally finish third though and second overall on the day is good too."
Ending the day one place behind his team-mate - in third - was reigning MX1 World Champion Steve Ramon. Ramon tried a different, stronger power setting on the engine of his factory Suzuki during moto one in Ireland but didn't find it completely to his liking but still finished a commendable fifth after losing time and energy as he got stuck behind MacKenzie. Struggling a little with arm-pump Ramon also lost a position to fellow MX1 series title candidate Philippaerts late in the moto but was content that he'd done the best he could.After returning to his favourite power curve for moto two Ramon looked like a different rider as he found the best lines and attacked the track - as well as the opposition hard!
Starting sixth he scythed through to second in the space of 15 laps but found the gap between himself and race leader Tanel Leok too large to overcome. Content to finish second in the race and third overall on the day Ramon most importantly took two points from Philippaerts' series lead and now sits just five behind the Italian with two rounds in the championship left to run.
"The start was not so good in the first race and I found it quite difficult to pass," said Ramon. "I spent a long time sat behind Billy and it was tiring me out as I had to try different lines and to push hard to try and get past. I started to get a little bit of arm pump and Philippaerts was able to close in on me and eventually pass me and I wasn't happy with that but I knew that I had tried my hardest.
"Before the second race we changed some settings on the bike and put it back to how I usually have it and things were much better for me. The second moto start was good and my riding was also much better than in the first moto. I found some good lines out there and I could put pressure on Philippaerts - he used some different lines to try and hold me back but I was able to pass him quite easily. Straight away I pulled a little gap on him and that was good. In fact the whole second moto was good for me - okay Tanel was fast in that race but I beat David and the gap between myself and him is down to five points now. The last two GPs will be tough but I'll do the best I can to recapture my world title!"
With only two rounds left the MX1 World Championship series continues next weekend in the deep and heavy sand of Lierop for the Grand Prix of Benelux before moving to Faenza in Italy one week later for the season finale.
MX1 Moto 1: 1 Ken De Dycker (Suzuki - BEL) 38:49.681, 2 Tanel Leok (Kawasaki - EST) +0:02.572, 3 Billy MacKenzie (Honda - GB) +0:15.287, 4 David Philippaerts (Yamaha - ITA) +0:17.305, 5 Steve Ramon (Suzuki - BEL) +0:22.354, 6 Sebastien Pourcel (Kawasaki - FRA) +0:23.658, 7 Max Nagl (KTM - GER) +0:25.976, 8 Manuel Priem (Kawasaki - BEL) +1:03.541, 9 Josh Coppins (Yamaha - NZL) +1:09.368, 10 Jonathan Barragan (KTM - ESP) +1:18.293.
MX1 Moto 2: 1 Tanel Leok (Kawasaki - EST) 39:36.398, 2 Steve Ramon (Suzuki - BEL) +0:15.918, 3 Ken De Dycker (Suzuki - BEL) +0:23.160, 4 David Philippaerts (Yamaha - ITA) +0:26.158, 5 Billy MacKenzie (Honda - GB) +0:29.898, 6 Max Nagl (KTM - GER) +0:36.999, 7 Manuel Priem (Kawasaki - BEL) +0:45.319, 8 Clement Desalle (Suzuki - BEL) +0:53.091, 9 Sebastien Pourcel (Kawasaki - FRA) +0:57.115, 10 Julien Bill (Honda - SUI) +1:00.277.
World Championship standings (after 13 of 15 rounds): 1 David Philippaerts (Yamaha - ITA) 441 points, 2 Steve Ramon (Suzuki - BEL) 436, 3 Ken De Dycker (Suzuki - BEL) 369, 4 Jonathan Barragan (KTM - ESP) 389, 5 Josh Coppins (Yamaha - NZL) 382, 6 Sebastien Pourcel (Kawasaki - FRA) 371, 7 Max Nagl (KTM - GER) 356, 8 Tanel Leok (Kawasaki - EST) 322, 9 Billy MacKenzie (Honda - GB) 293, 10 Clement Desalle (Suzuki - BEL) 235.
Manufacturer World Championship standings (after 13 of 15 rounds): 1 Yamaha 507 points, 2 Suzuki 504, 3 KTM 481, 4 Kawasaki 467, 5 Honda 398, 6 TM 33, 7 Aprilia 12