Professional rider on closed course competition.

RAMON 4TH IN SUZUKI MX1 DEBUT

April 1, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 1, 2006.

Steve Ramon qualified in fourth position on the RM-Z450 at a breezy Zolder circuit this afternoon on the first day of the 2006 FIM Motocross World Championships with team mate Kevin Strijbos close behind in fifth place.

The Grand Prix of Flanders began in less than ideal weather conditions with showers coating the Belgian venue throughout Friday evening and Saturday morning.

The weather conditions alternated between rain and brief sunshine with a stiff wind constantly straining to dry the sandy Flemish dirt that was heavy and rough. Ramon (26) and Strijbos (20) started the day slowly but positively with sixth and eighth positions in the first free practice session. Ramon began to find his feet on the tricky and technical layout and grabbed top slot on the timing sheets in the second period by almost a second from countryman Ken de Dycker, as Strijbos – who has been suffering with a cold - had risen to fourth.

Both riders circulated within the top five during the 30 minute Timed Practice and Ramon captured fourth spot with an effort just over a second away from Pole Position holder and reigning World Champion Stefan Everts. Strijbos changed his Pirelli front tyre for the last outing of the day and was only three-tenths-of-a-second behind his team-mate, ensuring that both Suzuki’s start from leading slots in the gate for the Grand Prix motos.

Steve Ramon:

“Everything went quite well today. The first practice was hard because the track was pretty difficult but they worked on it before the second session and I made a quick lap early on which turned out to be the best as it got rough again. My riding was getting better and fourth was a decent position in the Timed Practice. I am close to Stefan and on a track like this if you miss just one rut it can cost you a second, so it is not really much of an advantage. I did not change anything on the bike today and I am feeling confident for tomorrow.”

Kevin Strijbos:

“The track was really rough and you can not afford to make one mistake but I did not have a bad day. In the first practice session I did not push much and then only did a couple of fast laps in the second because I wanted to save myself for the Timed Practice. I am feeling better than I expected after my illness but maybe I pushed a little too hard this afternoon. Fifth position is more than acceptable though.”

MX1 Timed Practice: 1 Stefan Everts 1.43.978, 2 Ken de Dycker 1.44.850, 3 Sebastien Tortelli 1.44.989, 4 Steve Ramon 1.45.089, 5 Kevin Strijbos 1.45.364, 6 Tanel Leok 1.45.653, 7 Mickael Pichon 1.45.771, 8 Stephen Sword 1.47.044, 9 Cedric Melotte 1.47.154, 10 James Noble 1.47.269

For more stories about Steve Ramon, click here. For photos, click here.
For more stories about Kevin Strijbos, click here . For photos, click here .

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