Bikes: Ramon races to 3rd podium

IN ITALY

Team Teka Suzuki WMX1's Steve Ramon took 3rd position - his third podium result in as many races - at Gazzane di Preseglie in Brescia for the fourth and final meeting of the 2009 Italian Motocross Championship and completes the Belgian squad's pre-season campaign prior to the opening round of the FIM MX1 World Championship in Italy on March 29th.

The 2007 MX1 world champ recorded 2nd and 7th positions in the two motos for his trophy. The 29 year old steered the 2009 version of the RM-Z450 with a new chassis and second-generation fuel injection system after a week of testing on circuits in the region.

Ramon's team mate, Ken De Dycker, took 5th spot in the first race but was uncomfortable with his set-up in the second moto and retired after 20 minutes.

"We spent two good weeks getting the new bikes dialled-in and I was expecting a bit more in terms of results if I am honest," said Team Owner Sylvain Geboers. "The first moto was good. Steve was riding well and Ken fought back from 12th position but the starts were not great in the second and Ken pulled in after 20 minutes. Obviously the results were not a major priority here, but we wanted to see some end product to our testing work. Having said that, Faenza is very close now, so if the riders want to exercise some caution this is understandable.

"It was a positive experience and it helped us get our settings sorted," he continued, talking of the two weeks and two Italian Championship races the team took part in. "We made some modifications to the engines and found promising set-ups for both hard and soft tracks; it was definitely worthwhile and means that we can go to Faenza in the best shape possible."

After a fortnight in southern Europe the team are now heading back to their base in Belgium and will begin final preparations for the first Grand Prix of 15 at Faenza, close to Bologna, in two weeks time.