Buildbase Honda riders Charles Lefrancois and Fabien Izoird locked down third and fourth in the 2018 Power Maxed Arenacross Tour with rock-solid rides at round six of the series in Sheffield Arena on Saturday night.
With track conditions prime, both men ran 4-2 in their heats. Fabien then scored a bonus point in the Hot Lap competition as Charles narrowly lost out with fifth, just half-a-second down.
When the gate dropped on the Main Event it was Fabien who got the better start in fifth as Charles – winner of the opening round – stalled in the first corner. With a succession of aggressive passes, he battled back through the pack to seventh as Fabien picked off the opposition to come home a fighting third.
The result sees Charles consolidate third place in the championship chase and Fabien is now comfortable in fourth. Buildbase Honda also holds second in the team standings.
“I can’t be unhappy with a podium,” said Fabien, “but I always race to win so tonight did not go quite to plan. Qualifying and the heats were smooth but my start in the Main Event could have been better – still, I made a couple of good passes and then tried to put in consistent laps.
“Next weekend we have double points. It is a big challenge but the championship is not over yet.”
Charles was disappointed to lose valuable ground on the top two in the series.
“Today went okay but I stalled in the first corner in the Main Event and then the night was over for me,” he said. “I made many passes and scored good points but I feel there is still more to come.”
Team boss Dave Thorpe was full of praise for his riders.
“Fabien went down hard in practice in the whoops and was a bit beaten up – he’s a tough guy and showed his mettle but Cedric Soubeyras and Thomas Ramette were in a different class tonight.
“Charles’ Main Event was over before it started but he’s not a quitter and showed his class to come through the pack with some hard passes.
“We’re going into the final round in London with plenty of momentum and with double points up for grabs there’s still all to play for.”
After stalling in the first corner, Charles Lefrancois fought back to finish sixth