Professional rider on closed course competition.

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 19, 2006.

April 19, 2006

Team Suzuki travel to the Agueda circuit for the Grand Prix of Portugal this weekend buoyed by their moto victory and podium result in Spain last Sunday and are hoping for more of the same.

The third round of 15 in the 2006 FIM MX1 World Championship will take place at the venue that has hosted the Portuguese stop on the calendar for the last two years. Located some 100km south of Porto, the harsh gradients of Agueda formulate a technical circuit with soft terrain not too dissimilar to the Bellpuig course on which the RM-Z450 excelled over the Easter holidays.

Agueda has not been the luckiest of venues for Suzuki. The team’s best result was a sixth position overall gained by Kevin Strijbos in 2004.

The 20 year old Belgian is determined to leave the Grand Prix higher up the classification after his first moto win in Spain and also because he dislocated his left shoulder at the 2005 Portuguese meeting; initiating a troublesome period of injury problems. “Agueda is a good track but I don’t have the best memories of that place!” he said. “I really hope the weather will be good like it was in Spain because the track there can get rough with many ruts. It will be tough but I want better starts and a good first moto to try and forget the bad luck of last year and also in Spain last weekend.”

Steve Ramon gained his first podium silverware in yellow colours in only his second Grand Prix at Bellpuig and now returns to the circuit where he earned his first MX1 pole position in 2004 and where he has scored fourth place overall two years in a row. “There are not many jumps at Agueda but the dirt is different; it is a little bit looser compared to Bellpuig,” he commented. “It is a good track for me and my results have been decent in the last two years. It was wet in 2004 and 2005 and I’m not sure how different the track will be if it is dry. Anyway, I hope to continue my good speed from the second race in Spain.”

Cloudy but bright conditions are predicted for the weekend with decent temperatures.

Current MX1 World Championship Standings (after 2 rounds of 15): 1 Stefan Everts, BEL 92, 2 Tanel Leok, EST 82, 3 Sebastien Tortelli, FRA 77, 4 Steve Ramon, BEL 69, 5 Ken de Dycker, BEL 61, 6 Kevin Strijbos, BEL 60, 7 Jonathan Barragan, SPA 59, 8 Cedric Melotte, BEL 54, 9 Pascal Leuret, FRA 47, 10 Manuel Priem, BEL 30.

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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