Team SR75 Suzuki got its Arenacross UK season underway with rounds one and two taking place at the SSE Arena in Belfast at the weekend. New rider Sam Dyer was riding at this level for the first time and was pitted in the AXUK Futures class onboard his SR75 RM-Z250. Alongside Dyer, teammate Luke Oldfield took part in the AXUK Pro-Am class with both riders gaining a great deal of experience from a weekend of hard racing.
It was to be a steep learning curve for both and the first sessions were intense trying to learn the track and find some rhythm. Both Oldfield and Dyer loosened up with each lap and put in solid times to allow them to start on the inside half of the gate for their qualifier heat race and first Futures final respectively. Oldfield rode well on his RM-Z450 to take fourth in his heat and transfer to the night show making his first Pro Am final.
Meanwhile, Dyer was tense and incredibly nervous during his first final, but with incredible consistency and only a few mistakes he finished in a fantastic third place. In the second final he grew in confidence and put in some solid early laps while others were making mistakes and ran as high as second place, but he began to tighten up a little towards the end. Losing rhythm, he was on the receiving end of a move by the rider in third place, which saw both guys go down. He remounted to finish sixth.
Saturday was all about finding a little more intensity, but a big crash in the whoops made for an uncomfortable finish to the session and a tentative heat race which unfortunately ended with a tough block collision and no night show for Oldfield.
Teammate Dyer had a more productive day using the experience gained the night before and started to have a little more flow and enjoyment as the event progressed. A fourth in the first final once again put Sam in a good position to go for the podium. Another solid first lap on the night show final saw him in touch with the leaders but an unfortunate crash resulted in accidental contact with another rider in a bowl turn. Dyer got up and proceeded to ride his best laps of the weekend showing incredible speed and technique in the whoops for someone with little experience to end up sixth at the flag.
Geoff Walker, SR75 team owner said, “The guys had an incredible weekend and the best thing about this for us as a team is the speed these guys are learning this brilliant form of racing. Their bikes were amazing all weekend and the crew of Tony and Wayne kept everything perfect. Both riders are willing to learn and it is great to see the smiles every session they come in from the track. A massive thanks to Suzuki, Triwater and all our team partners for their support and a big thanks to Arenacross UK and all their crew for putting on a great series.”
Dyer said, “I’m blown away by the experience so far, I can’t believe I’m doing the series and how much I have learnt in such a short time. My bike is brilliant and the team has given me a great set up to try to learn all I can and have fun racing some really good racers. Thanks to Suzuki and everyone else who makes this possible, I can’t tell you how much fun this is.”
Oldfield added, “I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from myself after the late call up and I now know how tough this is, the Pro Am class is stacked with great riders and we have had a great time banging bars and having fun while I try to increase my intensity and speed. The race bike is incredible and I know how privileged I am to get the opportunity to race Arenacross. I took a big hit on day two but some physio after work this week and I will be ready to have another wild couple of days in Aberdeen for rounds three and four. Thanks to Suzuki and all the team sponsors”