Team Suzuki Press Office – October 7. FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier picked himself up from a huge crash in the first race of today’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship race at Magny-Cours in France to record a brave 10th place in race two.
Camier had made his way up to sixth place by the end of lap nine in race one, despite the treacherous conditions caused by heavy rain around the 4,411m French circuit. He then suffered a huge crash which resulted in him being catapulted off his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R and into the gravel. The Englishman was pinned under his machine and could only get to his feet once the marshals had removed his bike, made his own way back to the pits, but was obviously in a lot of pain.
Camier was passed fit for the second 23-lap race and lined up in the drier conditions in ninth on the grid. He made a poor start as he tried to adapt to the battering his body had suffered – mostly down his left-hand side – and because of a problem with the electronics, probably due to the crash in the first race, which made the bike very hard to ride. By the end of the second lap he was down in 17th, but Camier re-grouped and began to pick off riders in-front of him throughout the race. He made his way up to 10th by the start of the penultimate lap and held the position to the end of the race, despite being in considerable discomfort.
John Hopkins wasn’t on the grid today after withdrawing from the weekend’s proceedings yesterday following a re-occurrence of his hip injury. He made the announcement today that he will be taking the 2013 season off to get himself back to full fitness and then re-assess his options once he is back to strength.
Today’s first race victory was taken by Sylvain Guintoli on a Ducati on his home soil, with Tom Sykes racing to victory in the second event to push the title battle right to the wire. Italian Max Biaggi crossed the line in fifth place in race two, which was enough to give him the championship crown by the smallest margin in Superbike history. Biaggi took his second WSBK title – the sixth World Championship in his career – by just 0.5 points from Sykes.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will have a test at Aragon later this month and will also make the announcement of Camier’s team-mate for next year very soon. The provisional date for the first round of 2013 is Sunday February 24th at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia.
“I am really happy with our performance in wet conditions, but race one was neither wet, nor dry and that is the worst possible scenario. All was going OK until I came out of turn 11 and was high-sided. I was flipped into the air and came down heavily on my left arm and head and then the bike landed on top of me and I couldn’t move. It seemed ages before it was removed and I was able to get up. I felt pretty sore, but luckily I hadn’t broken anything, even though my left arm had taken a right old battering.
“The FIXI Crescent Suzuki was in a bit of mess, but the boys did a great job to get it ready in time for race two and we lined up on the grid OK. Right from the start, I felt that the bike wasn’t quite right – not surprising really after its big crash – and it was difficult to ride. The electronics didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t get a great start, but I was determined to bring the bike home and that’s what I did. Although the season didn’t end the way I hoped, the progress the team have made with the FIXI Crescent Suzuki makes me feel very optimistic about the future. The bike has come on leaps-and-bounds since the beginning of the season and I’m already looking forward to my next time on it – once I’ve rested my left arm a bit!”
Jack Valentine – Team Manager:
“It has been probably the strangest season I’ve known, but the good news is that, thanks to all the hard work the team have done, we’ve shown that the FIXI Crescent Suzuki can be a competitive bike and run with the best. It was a pity that the conditions were so treacherous in the first race, making life hard for everybody – but that’s how racing is sometimes. Leon took real hammering in the crash and it took a lot of guts for him to get on the bike in race two and, all things considered, I think he did really well to get a top-10 finish.”
Magny-Cours – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race One: 1. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 44’06.299: 2. Marco Melandri (BMW) 44’12.426: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 44’22.894: 4. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 44’28.156: 5. Leon Haslam (BMW) 44’31.448. DNF: Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
Magny-Cours – FIM Superbike World Championship – Race Two: 1. Sykes 38’15.725: 2. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 38’17.079: 3. Guintoli 38’18.118: 4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 38’28.847: 5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 38’29.680. 10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki). 38’52.942:
World Championship Classification: 1. Biaggi 358: 2. Sykes 357.5: 3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 328.5: 4. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 287.5: 5. Rea 278.5. 14. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 115.5. 19. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 44.