Suzuki win World MX1 Title
Steve Ramon, Team Suzuki and the RM-Z450 wrapped up the Rider’s and Manufacturer’s FIM MX1 Motocross World Championships with third position overall today through the rough and dark sand of Lierop for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the final round of the 2007 series
Steve Ramon, Team Suzuki and the RM-Z450 wrapped up the Rider’s and Manufacturer’s FIM MX1 Motocross World Championships with third position overall today through the rough and dark sand of Lierop for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands and the final round of the 2007 series as Kevin Strijbos won his fourth GP of the season. The 27-year-old Belgian lifted his first crown in the category after taking 22 points for second place in the first moto.
The result gave him a superior numerical advantage of 35 going into the last race of the season in which he took third spot. Strijbos rode well to earn first and second positions and finish as runner-up in the final 2007 ranking meaning that the team and Suzuki fill the first two places and completed a clean sweep of honours. The Grand Prix was a memorable one for Ramon, who was part of the Belgian team that toasted victory at the Motocross of Nations here three years ago. The former 125cc world champ and current Belgian number one has now added the premier MX1 crown to his collection and is the only rider in the class to have scored points in all 30 GP motos this season.
Ramon won two motos and collected six podiums on his way to the championship and although he was assisted by an injury to pace-setter Josh Coppins – the New Zealander withdrew from the Grand Prix this weekend – he also had to negotiate the last five rounds of the campaign with torn tendon in his left wrist. Today, Ramon guided the RM-Z450 to second position behind runaway victor and overall winner Strijbos in the first moto. The runner-up slot confirmed his status as the new champion for this season while Strijbos’ sixth moto success of the year lifted him above the absent Coppins and into second. The pair took part in a thrilling second moto tussle against Marc de Reuver for the lead: All three swapped positions as the pace fluctuated through the 35 minutes and two laps. Eventually it proved too much for Ramon who slipped back into a lonely third place.
A last lap showdown took place between De Reuver and Strijbos with the Dutchman taking control with only a few corners remaining although Strijbos was already guaranteed the top step of the rostrum. After an exciting finale to the calendar the day thoroughly belonged to the team and Ramon especially. "I was really happy to see all the people at the finish line. I knew a little bit what to expect after the first world title but it is a great feeling; that moment when it hits you ‘I’m World Champion’," said Ramon who has dropped out of the top five only 11 times in 30 outings. "I’m really happy with my second title and I have been working hard for this. I want to thank the team, my sponsors and everybody close to me who have been just as dedicated. "
"My riding was going well in the second moto but Kevin was really fast today," he continued. "We had a good battle. I ended up making a couple of mistakes and had some cramps in my legs so I had to slow down. I had bad luck at the start of the season with some poor starts, a few crashes and then always having to come back through the pack. Around the middle of the year it started to get better and I took some wins and also some podiums but I had another setback with the crash at Loket and from that point until this race it was difficult to race with my wrist. It has been a strange season: I have had some bad results but I also know that it is important to fight for every point."
"It has not been my best year but I’m still the champion. We are now going to party tonight and also tomorrow! It was very tough today because the track was so hard," commented Strijbos, who enjoyed his last ride with the team today. "The first moto was good – I had the right lines and could pull away – and then I had a nice battle with Marc and Steve in the second. It was hard work and I was really tired but it was enjoyable. I just lost out to Marc at the end because he had more momentum through the whoops but the overall win was mine. My knee is pretty painful and has been for the last two GPs. I will have an operation next Wednesday now and unfortunately I’ll miss the ‘Nations."
"I’m really excited and emotional," beamed Team Principal Sylvain Geboers. "Everything went to plan and all our pre-season goals have been fulfilled. I am so happy for Suzuki and for all our partners who have never given up and always continued to support us. Of course it is not possible without the riders and Kevin and Steve also gave their maximum. To finish first and second is fantastic; what else can I say."
Ramon will now aim to defend his Belgian championship with two further rounds remaining in the domestic series. He will fly to the USA in three weeks to represent his country in the 61st Motocross of Nations but Strijbos will undergo surgery on his troublesome knee and is will miss the trip to America.
MX1 Moto1: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 40:12.396; 2. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:11.238; 3. Marc de Reuver (NED, Yamaha), +0:19.430; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), +0:39.931; 5. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:52.146; 6. Manuel Priem (BEL, TM), +0:58.104; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +1:06.551; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, KTM), +1:14.334; 9. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:16.102; 10. James Noble (GBR, Honda), +1:20.447.
MX1 Moto2: 1. Marc de Reuver (NED, Yamaha), 41:27.025; 2. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:05.705; 3. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:49.502; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), +1:02.256; 5. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:05.169; 6. Manuel Priem (BEL, TM), +1:27.380; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Kawasaki), +1:28.693; 8. Marvin van Daele (BEL, Honda), +1:29.439; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +2:06.241; 10. Mike Brown (USA, Honda), +2:12.382.