Professional rider on closed course competition.


April 22, 2006

Steve Ramon posted the second quickest lap time aboard his works RM-Z450 this afternoon at a sunny Agueda circuit for the Grand Prix of Portugal as team mate Kevin Strijbos was fourth for another strong showing by the Team Suzuki pair.

The Saturday programme for round three of 15 in the 2006 FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship had been cut after torrential rainfall throughout Friday evening had soaked the dark orange terrain at the venue 100km south of Porto. The MX1 class riders had just one Free Practice session in which to optimise their 450cc four-stroke motorcycles before the 30 minute chrono in the afternoon.

The Grand Prix paddock retained an odd silence throughout the morning and although several further showers coated the Agueda facility, sunshine and pleasant temperatures greeted the first chimes of engine noise after midday.

Ramon (26) was third fastest after the opening spell on a rapidly-drying course and Strijbos was down in sixth. The latter was quick off the mark during qualification as surprisingly warm sunshine finally began to bless proceedings. Spanish GP moto1 winner Strijbos did not drop out of the top four and eventually kept the same position, just over a second away from pole position holder Sebastien Tortelli. Ramon posted his lap with minutes remaining and was close to repeating his first ever MX1 pole position taken in 2004.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is positive.

Steve Ramon:

“We have kept the same settings from the second moto in Spain and the bike is working well. There was only one free practice today but I was at home right away with the track. Timed Practice was a bit difficult at the beginning but I settled into the session and the fast lap finally came near the end. The track is fine but if it rains again then the start will be even more important.”

Kevin Strijbos:

“The track is really good. They have made some changes on the jumps and there are a few more lines. We only had two sessions on the track but I felt good. We changed the suspension a little bit so that it would sit up more at the front and it worked better for qualifying. If the weather stays good then it should be fun tomorrow.”

MX1 Timed Practice: 1 Sebastien Tortelli, FRA (KTM) 1:46.283, 2 Steve Ramon, BEL (Suzuki) 1:47.001, 3 Stefan Everts, BEL (Yamaha) 1:47.432, 4 Kevin Strijbos, BEL (Suzuki), 1:47.740, 5 Tanel Leok, EST (Kawasaki), 1:47.854, 6 Ken de Dycker, BEL (Honda) 1:47.862, 7 Jonathan Barragan, SPA (KTM) 1:48.435, 8 James Noble, GBR (Honda) 1:48.678, 9 Antti Pyrhonen, FIN (TM) 1:49.219, 10 Pascal Leuret, FRA (Honda)

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

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