Steve Ramon Makes History with Le Touquet Win

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1's Steve Ramon has started 2011 in the best possible way by fulfilling a career goal and giving Suzuki a first taste of success at arguably the most famous beach race in Europe.

The 31 year old Belgian - a FIM Motocross World Champion in two categories and seven times Belgian MX national champion - rode for three hours across the French sand at Le Touquet to stand victorious and add the honour to his impressive CV.

Using a modified 2010 RM-Z450 Grand Prix machine - including a larger fuel tank, speedometer, different gear box and ratios and configuration to comply with the Enduropale rules - Ramon swiftly hit the front in the race with eleven 15km laps, hundreds of entrants; and with a crowd of more than 200,000 lining the coast. A winner of numerous beach events and an extremely capable racer in the sand, Ramon faced some pressure on the final circulation from Frenchman Jean-Claude Mousse, but was still able to take the chequered flag in the high-profile competition that was inaugurated in 1975.

"I had a lot of fun and to win at Le Touquet has always been one of my goals," said Ramon. "When you see all the people watching, you get to see just how big this event is; I have won a lot of beach races and I guess I came here as the favourite but it was still a hard ride.

"I started around fourth or fifth and took the lead before the end of the first lap," he continued. "We managed our pit-stops well and the last stages were tough physically as well as trying to find a way past all the backmarkers. Mousse made a mistake on the final lap and I was able to take advantage. Overall it is an amazing result, not just for me but also for Suzuki."

Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 will now commence a busy schedule of testing and racing building up to the first round of 15 in the 2011 FIM Motocross World Championship that begins in Bulgaria on April 11th. Ramon and team-mate Clement Desalle are next due to appear at the Valence International event near Lyon in two weeks time.