Over ten thousand enthusiastic horn-blowing fans – the biggest-ever Arenacross attendance – locked out the cold this evening and flooded into The Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, to enjoy the fourth round of the hotly-contested six-round 2019 Arenacross Tour.
The crammed schedule of activity kicked in as soon as the arena doors opened to the public. Once seated, they were treated to a ground-shuddering opening ceremony with pounding music accompanied by a striking choreography of lights, LED, pyro and fireworks.
First into the fray were the Fix Auto FMX crew of Dan Whitby, Samson Eaton, Arran Powley, Nez Parker, Czech legend Petr Pilat and on-loan-for-Birmingham, Brody Knibbs. This band of highly-skilled high-flying mavericks wasted no time in getting down to work, throwing out incredible tricks, whips and back flips, setting the tone for the show ahead.
Back down on the gritty man-made track, the action continued to soar with heart-stopping race moments, displays of pure race skill, clashes galore, French supremacy and a crowd-warming Welshman.
SR75 Suzuki’s Valentin Teillet briefly brought a halt to the charge of Cedric Soubeyras (FRO Systems) when he won the first Pro Lites Main Event, but the tables were swiftly turned in the second Main Event, and subsequent Main Event Super Final. The reigning Pro champ reaffirmed his supremacy, taking both wins and boosting his Pro AX Championship challenge to within four points of current leader and Pro 450 winner Greg Aranda (Team Green Kawasaki). Also in the Pro Lites frame were Adrien Escoffier (Buildbase Honda), Julien Lebeau (Shocktech Kawasaki) and the UK’s very own Joe Clayton (Team Green Kawasaki) who not only took credible fifth and fourth positions but also claimed a well-deserved place in the Main Event Super Final.
In the Pro 450 class, Ashley Greedy (FRO Systems) had the crowd on its feet in the opening moto when he stormed through to a third-place finish behind Aranda and Charles Lefrancois (SR75 Suzuki). The fact he ended up in the dreaded Head-to-Head was not a true reflection on his strong form this evening but, much to the trepidation of the opposition, that was his destiny and, as ever, he rose to the occasion. His notable efforts in the two-lap eliminator saw him get the dubious better of Portuguese Diogo Graca (Castrol Power1 Suzuki) and then engaged in gladiator-style battle with another Portuguese in the form of the resilient Hugo Basaula (Shocktech Kawasaki); Greedy got the better of Basaula but it wasn’t an easy one for him.
The Main Event Super Final lived up to expectations with Teillet again making life difficult for Soubeyras, whilst trying to fend off the attacking Aranda. Soubeyras took a flag-to-flag victory, but he had his work cut out as he had a quartet of French compatriots on his rear wheel pressuring for the slip that would let them through. Behind them a valiant effort from Buildbase Honda’s Adam Chatfield, in his first Super Final, saw him collect a well-deserved sixth overall, ahead of Greedy in seventh and Clayton in 11th.
Main Event Super Final
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras FRO Systems 15 Points
2. #20 Greg Aranda Team Green Kawasaki 13
3. #737 Valentin Teillet SR75 Suzuki 11
4. #3 Charles Le Francois SR75 Suzuki 9
5. #6 Adrien Escoffier Buildbase Honda 8
6. #9 Adam Chatfield Buildbase Honda 7
Pro AX Championship
1. #20 Greg Aranda 56 Points
2. #1 Cedric Soubeyras 52
3. #737 Valentin Teillet 31
4. #4 Fabien Izoird 30
5. #3 Charles Le Francois 25
6. #6 Adrien Escoffier 24
Main Event Overall
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras FRO Systems 28 points
2. #737 Valentin Teillet SR75 Suzuki 28
3. #259 Julien Lebeau Wooldridge Demolition 20
4. #1x Joe Clayton Team Green Kawasaki 17
5. #6 Adrien Escoffier Buildbase Honda 16
6. #744 Diogo Graca Castrol Power1 Suzuki Motobase 15
7. #13 Nolan Cordens KTM 13
8. #337 Glenn McCormick Unique Fitout Husqvarna 11
Pro Lites Championship
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras 170 Points
2. #737 Valentin Teillet 122
3. #6 Adrien Escoffier 106
4. #259 Julien Lebeau 102
5. #1x Joe Clayton 72
6. #744 Diogo Graca 60
Main Event Overall
1. #20 Greg Aranda Team Green Kawasaki 30 Points
2. #3 Charles Le Francois SR75 Suzuki 26
3. #9 Adam Chatfield Buildbase Honda 19
4. #64 Nique Thury Fro Systems Honda 17
5. #33 Ashley Greedy FRO Systems Honda 17
6. #8 Hugo Basaula Shocktech Kawasaki 14
7. #200 James Dunn Castrol Power1 Suzuki Motobase 13
8. #17 Matt Bayliss Wooldridge Demolition Honda 12
Pro 450 Championship
1. #20 Greg Aranda 174 Points
2. #3 Charles Le Francois 125
3. #4 Fabien Izoird 93
4. #64 Nique Thury 89
5. #8 Hugo Basaula 73
6. #33 Ashley Greedy 62
1. Team FRO Systems Suzuki 259 Points
2. SR75 Suzuki Suzuki 247
3. Team Green Kawasaki 246
4. Shocktech Kawasaki 166
5. Wooldridge Demolition 161
6. Buildbase Honda 151
7. Castrol Suzuki MBC 84
The next stop of The Arenacross Tour is in two weeks’ time The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of February 2019.
For the full results, images and to find ticket information, visit www.arenacrossuk.com