2008-02-24 05:53
Team Suzuki riders Steve Ramon and Ken De Dycker continued their preparation for the 2008 MX1 World motocross championship by competing in the International of Valence held under sunny skies on the spectacular hillside circuit near Lyon in the south of France.

Although track conditions stayed dry throughout the day plenty of punishing ruts and bumps formed making it a challenging circuit for the 40 invited racers.

After a steady start to the season with sixth overall in the Mantova Starcross, reigning MX1 World Champion Steve Ramon improved vastly throughout the day to post a 4-3-2 scorecard to finish third overall on the all-new electronically fuel injected RM-Z450 after battling with Josh Coppins, Sebastien Pourcel and Julien Bill during the three 20 minute plus two lap motos.

"I had a good day here even though it's not my favourite track," said Ramon after the third epic battle. "It's always one of the first races of the year and I sometimes find it difficult on this track but today I was riding good and in every race I made some progress. The last race was really good and I had a little battle with Josh after fighting my way through the pack.

"My riding is good and the bike is also good. We did some testing after Mantova for a couple of weeks in the south of France and the bike is really good now. We still have a few weeks to go before the first GP and I'm happy and my confidence is high."

Fresh from an easy win in at the Belgian international race in Grobbendonk one week earlier, Ramon's team mate De Dycker also showed great promise during the day in only his third race appearance on the RM-Z. Showing no ill effects form the minor injury he sustained in Mantova Ken's 5-4-11 scorecard was plenty good enough for fifth overall on the day.

"I had a bad race in Mantova with a small injury but this race started well and got better and better," claimed Ken. "For so early in the season my speed is good and there are still a few races before the first GP and also plenty of opportunities to go practice before then so I can be the best I can at Valkenswaard.

"The team and I are still improving things on the bike and trying different parts and settings but what we have already is very good. We've been testing for two weeks since Mantova and I've been riding and riding to get used to the new bike and this race also helped with that too."

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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