Team Suzuki Press Office – October 4. FIXI Crescent Suzuki is aiming to end the 14th and final round of this year’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours in the Burgundy region of France on a positive note this weekend.
Leon Camier, John Hopkins and the whole squad will be looking to build upon the progress shown by the team and the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R over recent races, which has given the riders more of a competitive edge and real chances of challenging for podiums. Camier’s best result at Magny-Cours to date is a fourth place last year, whilst Hopkins will again be competing at a circuit he has never raced at before, so will need to spend time learning the circuit before going into attack mode.
Magny-Cours is situated in the Burgundy region of France close to the town of Nevers and approximately 260km south of Paris. The track was originally a kart circuit, but huge improvements and extensions over the years has resulted in a FIA and FIM homologated 4,411m layout, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. This season will see the eni FIM Superbike World Championship decided at the French circuit, with Max Biaggi, Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri all still in with a chance of taking the title, but Italian Biaggi looks favourite to take the sixth world championship of his career, as he heads to Magny-Cours with a 30.5point lead.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki gets its weekend underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session, before qualifying begins in the afternoon, when both Camier and Hopkins will be looking to secure their positions in Saturday’s Superpole. Sunday’s two races make up the final round of this season’s championship, with the first 23-lap event getting underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).
“Since the last round, I have been doing some training and some enduro riding to make sure I’m in good shape for Magny-Cours this coming weekend. My races last year were OK, but my result in race two would’ve been better were it not for a wrong tyre choice. The track is very hard on tyres, so we’ll be trying to get the bike set up to manage tyre life at the same time as trying to qualify well. It’s quite a physical track and there are not that many places to rest, but there are a few overtaking places – especially when the tyres begin to wear off towards the end of the race. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki has improved a lot recently and we shall have to see how the better speed and acceleration copes with the French track. I’m looking forward to the races this weekend and my aim is to finish the season with a podium or two!”
“I’ve never raced at Magny-Cours, so I’ll spend the first day learning which way round the track goes and getting up to speed as soon as I can. From what I’ve seen on TV and heard, it’s a much easier track to learn than Portimao, so I’m hoping to be on the pace in final qualifying and get into Superpole without any dramas. I think that the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is now more competitive than it has been all year and I’m excited about riding it this weekend and ending the season with my best results of the year.”
Jack Valentine – Team Manager:
“I think we’ve shown that the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R has come on a lot since the start of the year and it can now run with the best – and that has surprised a few people. Our aim is to get both Leon and John safely into Superpole and take it from there, but I see no reason why we cannot get our best results of the season and that’s what we’ll all be aiming for.”