The Grand Finale of the 2019 Arenacross Tour delivered on its promise of producing a white-knuckle ride, with hard-charging battles across all Pro classes and an adrenaline-fuelled Super Final Main Event that went to the wire.
Thousands of eager AX fans flocked into the FlyDSA Arena this evening for the venue’s first-ever Arenacross final, eager to soak up the atmosphere, sit back and enjoy an evening of flat-out indoor motocross racing, high-air Fix Auto Freestyle MX antics, and witness history as 250cc and 450cc pilots faced each other head-on in the inaugural mixed capacity AX Pro Championship.
As ever, Arenacross didn’t disappoint. Its competitors set the bar in terms of high-value entertainment, with customary elbow-bashing, fairing clashing, and at times questionable, racing tactics.
The Pro Lites Main events were all about the French, with Valentin Teillet (SR75 Suzuki) protecting his lines throughout the whole 12-lap opening moto, ahead of Cedric Soubeyras (FRO Systems) and Brit Dylan Woodcock (Shocktech Kawasaki). Soubeyras came out punching in the second race though, with the morning’s fastest qualifier Julien Lebeau (Wooldridge Demolition) keeping him company, and eventual second-placed rider Teillet in third.
It was a different story over in the larger-capacity class when the 2013 AX Pro champ Adam Chatfield shot off the line in first with fellow-Brit Matt Bayliss (Wooldridge Demolition) right with him. Bayliss quickly took the lead and stormed ahead with Team Green Kawasaki’s Greg Aranda hunting him down. Bayliss was on fire and held the Frenchman at bay until the two-lap board came out and Aranda made his move to take the win with Bayliss second and Chatfield third. The second Pro 450 moto was red-flagged when Nique Thury (FRO Systems) took a hard fall and was ruled out of the race. Aranda grabbed the holeshot in the re-start with Chatfield and Bayliss hot on his heels. A mistake by Aranda let Chatfield and Bayliss through and they were quick to take advantage, pulling away and staying out of trouble, making it a Brit one-two much to the delight of the screaming crowd.
The Head-to-Head eliminator was won by Buildbase Honda’s Escoffier, whilst Ashely Greedy (FRO Systems), James Dunn (Castrol Power 1 Suzuki) and Florent Richier (Shocktech Kawasaki) made it through to the final by taking the top three slots in the Last Chance Qualifier.
And so, to the one everyone was waiting for … the Main Event Super Final. Soubeyras on his 250cc and Aranda on his 450cc were on equal points, whoever finished in front of the other, would take the title, the AX Pro crown and the significant victor’s spoils.
Soubeyras had the benefit of first gate pick, but Aranda lined up immediately behind him. Bayliss – experiencing machine difficulties – lined up on Austin Root’s Buildbase Honda bike.
It was all on the start and Soubeyras was into the corner first. The tension was palpable, but Soubeyras controlled the race, leaving Aranda and Teillet to fend off the attacking Bayliss and Chatfield, whilst also contending with attention from Greedy. Towards the closing stages of the race, Aranda set about reeling in Soubeyras and looked threatening, however, when back markers came into play Soubeyras, in a masterclass of Arenacross race skill, powered his quarter-litre machine across the finish line in style.
A jubilant Soubeyras paid tribute to his friend and racing rival Aranda, his FRO Systems team, team-manager Mark McCann and girlfriend Sophia for his sensational, record-breaking one-two result.
Main Event 1
1. #737 Valentin Teillet, SR75 Suzuki, 15 points
2. #1 Cedric Soubeyras, FRO Systems, 13
3. #260 Dylan Woodcock, Shocktech Kawasaki, 11
4. #6 Adrien Escoffier, Buildbase Honda, 9
5. #259Julien Lebeau, Wooldridge Demolition, 8
6. #1 Joe Clayton, Team Green Kawasaki, 7
1. #20 Greg Aranda, Team Green Kawasaki, 15 points
2. #17 Matt Bayliss, Wooldridge Demolition Honda, 13
3. #9 Adam Chatfield , Buildbase Honda, 11
4. #3 Charles Le Francois, SR75 Suzuki, 9
5. #200 James Dunn, Castrol Power1 Suzuki, 8
6. #25 Florent Richier, Shocktech Kawasaki, 7
Main Event 2
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras, FRO Systems, 15 points
2. #737 Valentin Teillet, SR75 Suzuki, 13
3. #259 Julien Lebeau, Wooldridge Demolition, 11
4. #1 Joe Clayton, Team Green Kawasaki, 9
5. #260 Dylan Woodcock, Shocktech Kawasaki, 8
6. #50 Martin Barr, Crescent Yamaha, 7
1. #9 Adam Chatfield, Buildbase Honda, 15 points
2. #17 Matt Bayliss, Wooldridge Demolition, 13
3. #20 Greg Aranda, Team Green Kawasaki, 11
4. #33 Ashley Greedy, FRO Systems, 9
5. #3 Charles Le Francois, SR75 Suzuki, 8
6. #25 Florent Richier, Shocktech Kawasaki, 7
Pro Main Event Super Final
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras, FRO Systems, 30 points
2. #20 Greg Aranda, Team Green Kawasaki, 26
3. #737 Valentin Teillet, SR75 Suzuki, 22
4. #9 Adam Chatfield, Buildbase Honda, 18
5. #6 Adrien Escoffier, Buildbase Honda, 16
6. #3 Charles Le Francois, SR75 Suzuki, 14
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras, 273 points
2. #737 Valentin Teillet, 207
3. #6 Adrien Escoffier, 168
4. #259 Julien Lebeau, 152
5. #1 Joe Clayton, 103
6. #744, Diogo Graca, 91
7. #337 Glenn McCormick, 61
8. #50 Martin Barr, 49
9. #260 Dylan Woodcock, 42
10. #381 Scooter Webster, 32
1. #20 Greg Aranda, 267 points
2. #3 Charles Le Francois, 190
3. #9 Adam Chatfield,131
4. #17 Matt Bayliss, 112
5. #64 Nique Thury, 107
6. #33 Ashley Greedy, 94
7. #4 Fabien Izoird, 93
8. #8 Hugo Basaula, 73
9. #200 James Dunn, 63
10. #10 Jack Brunell, 50
1. #1 Cedric Soubeyras, 97 points
2. # 20 Greg Aranda, 93
3. #737 Valentin Teillet, 62
4. #6 Adrien Escoffier, 53
5. #3 Charles Le Francois, 47
6. #259 Julien Lebeau, 39
7. #9 Adam Chatfield, 32
8. #4 Fabien Izoird, 30
9. #64 Nique Thury, 24
10. #33 Ashley Greedy, 18