Team Suzuki Press Office – February 15. FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier finished the unofficial test at Phillip Island in Australia in fine style as he topped the time-sheets and recorded a lap under the current record.
Camier’s ‘unofficial’ best lap-time of 1’31.2 was half-of-a-second under the current record and sent a powerful signal to the rest of the Superbike field that was assembled at Phillip Island for this private test. Camier produced his scintillating time during this morning using a race tyre, and then followed that up with an equally impressive and highly competitive race simulation and was the only rider to complete such a run. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki star also ended the day in spectacular style as he was pushing hard – and already 0.4-of-a-second under his best time – before he was involved in a very high-speed crash on the last corner of his last lap of the day. He lost the front of his machine and saw the bike disappear over the gravel trap and tyre wall, before coming to rest in the trees that surround the picturesque circuit. Camier again escaped unscathed, which was more than could be said for his FIXI Crescent Suzuki!
Camier and his crew will now assess the data gathered from the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R over these two productive days, before the team takes to the track again on Monday for a further two-day test. The Englishman will certainly be looking to build on his impressive start to the season as he heads toward the first race of 2013 next weekend.
Jules Cluzel was absent from today’s events following a big crash in yesterday’s testing, which led to him being admitted to hospital in Melbourne for a small operation to repair damage to his left elbow. The procedure has been a successful one and Cluzel plans to re-join the team this evening and be back on-track for the two-day test that starts on Monday.
“The day started off really well and we got down to some good times. The bike felt really comfortable, we improved it a little bit chassis wise and the electronics are slowly getting better. We also did a race run, I was not really pushing it, but just trying to be comfortable and the keep the lap-times consistent. We can still improve the race pace and I think I can do a bit of that through my riding. At the end of the day we had a massive crash when I was pushing for a really fast lap – I just got caught out by the wind. The bike was absolutely totalled, so the boys have got a lot of work to do tonight! Hopefully we’ll be back up to speed as soon as we get back on track on Monday.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The high speed of the Phillip Island track, combined with the new high-grip but more unpredictable surface has caught out a lot of riders over these two-days and with two crashes each for our guys, we were very much involved in the carnage!
“Jules was operated on by renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Weymouth today and he’ll be able to ride – even if he is a little bit restricted in his movement – in the Official Test on Monday. As a rookie to the Superbike class it’s not good to lose a full day of testing, but he showed huge speed – maybe a bit too much speed – yesterday and we will approach the test next week very calmly and in a step-by-step manner to re-build his confidence. We all have to make sure that we remember that the championship is 15-rounds long and it doesn’t all hinge on what Jules does here at Phillip Island next weekend.
“Leon tested alone today and was absolutely flying all day. The bike is working well, the 2013 engine which we’ve developed with Yoshimura is in a different league to what we had here last year, and the whole package appears to be properly competitive. Leon’s 31.2 best lap was impressive, but more important for the team was the superb data we gathered from the race simulation run, in-which Leon kept the times all within the 32-second bracket. Phillip Island is so tough on rear tyres, so the consistency bodes well for the race weekend. The huge crash at over 200kmh at the final corner could have put a big dampener on an otherwise positive test, but the sight of Leon up on his feet and basically ok, except for a few bumps and bruises, was a huge relief. We can replace the metal and the carbon fibre, but we can’t replace Leon!”
Phillip Island Unofficial Test Classification (Day Two): 1. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1’31.2: 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’31.3: 3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’31.4: 4. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’31.6: 5. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’31.7.