RAMON 3RD IN NATIONS QUALIFYING HEAT2009-10-03 13:45
Teka Suzuki World MX1's Steve Ramon took his works RM-Z450 to third position in the MX Open Qualification Heat for Team Belgium under blue skies and hot Italian sunshine at Franciacorta as the 63rd Motocross of Nations got underway in front of a bumper crowd at the venue just east of Brescia.
The former MX1 World Champion helped his country to the same ranking in the Saturday classification meaning the third pick in the gate for the riders tomorrow.
The new track provided many obstacles, waves and some impressively large jumps. The terrain offered a technical challenge to the three best riders selected for the 37 participating Nations in what is the biggest and most prestigious off-road motocross race in the world.
Other RM-Z450 competitors included AMA National Motocross number one and former Supercross champion Chad Reed. The Australian was third in the MX1 class while team-mate and fellow Suzuki pilot Michael Byrne was seventh in MX Open, meaning the Aussies enter the start gate in fifth place. Reigning 'Nations Champion Team USA follow in sixth Ryan Dungey's fifth position in the 20-minute MX1 sprint assisting the AMA collective.
German Starlet Ken Roczen flicked his RM-Z250 to ninth in the MX2 Heat, even though this team were unlucky in the ballot for the initial line-up and the 15 year old had to start from the 36th and final berth. Germany will set off from 11th place on Sunday.
Three motos will happen tomorrow, MX1 + MX2, MX2 + MX Open, MX1 +MX Open, with the top 20 Nations fielding two of their riders in each moto according to their class - therefore 40 riders in the gate. Five of the six results will count to a final score and the 2009 Nations podium.
"Things were OK, I made a mistake over the waves then Paulin and Philippaerts had good speed so it was not easy to close the gap. I had a close call with a backmarker with two laps to go so I kept steady and did not take any risks. The track is good; it is very hard with some stony parts but pretty fun to ride. We kept the same set-up as Brazil as I wanted to avoid some arm-pump."
MX1 Qualification Heat
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 25:00.050; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Honda), +0:03.418; 3. Chad Reed (AUS, Suzuki), +0:15.478; 4. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +0:27.514; 5. Ryan Dungey (USA, Suzuki), +0:31.680.
MX2 Qualification Heat:
1. Marvin Musquin (FRA, KTM), 25:16.123; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:08.405; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), +0:12.384; 4. Brett Metcalfe (AUS, Honda), +0:19.868; 5. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +0:25.438; 9. Ken Roczen (GER, Suzuki), +0:40.551.
MX Open Qualification Heat:
1. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 24:46.590; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.349; 3. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:14.434; 4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:19.320; 5. Ivan Tedesco (USA, Honda), +0:20.252; 7. Michael Byrne (AUS, Suzuki), +0:37.450.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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