Team Suzuki Press Office – April 12. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier suffered a huge high-side during this afternoon’s first qualifying session at Motorland Aragon that leaves his participation in the rest of this weekend’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship event in serious doubt.
Camier had looked impressive during this morning’s practice and was sitting in the top-three in the early stages of this afternoon’s session, before he crashed at turn 10 on the 5,344m Spanish circuit. Camier flew spectacularly through the air before landing heavily and inflicting a serious damage to his left knee. He was immediately taken to the circuit’s medical centre, where after an initial and thorough assessment by the staff of the Clinica Mobile he was immediately transferred to Alcaniz hospital for a further examination. The extent of his injury will be investigated meticulously before a decision is made about what treatment is required. A further announcement will be made once more information is available.
Jules Cluzel made a strong start to the weekend as he posted the eighth fastest time in the first qualifying session to leave him in a strong position to participate in tomorrow’s Superpole. After a steady first session Cluzel picked up the pace this afternoon on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and is in a positive frame of mind as he heads into day two. His time of 1’59.414 leaves him comfortably within the provisional top-15 that will qualify for Saturday’s Superpole and a position that could give him his first taste of the shoot-out after he narrowly missed out at the last round.
Today’s proceedings took place in bright sunshine with air temperatures reaching 23°C and track temperatures peaking at 39°C. Provisional pole was set by Eugene Laverty on an Aprilia. All riders will have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning to try and seal a place in the afternoon’s Superpole, to enable them to fight for the best grid positions for Sunday’s two races.
“I am happy with today’s qualifying, because this morning the feeling was a bit strange; we tried a new tyre and I don’t think it was the best one for long distance. This morning was really all about being back on track and getting up to speed, then this afternoon we used the same tyre we worked with at the test and everything seemed pretty good. I made a mistake in my fastest lap – on the slow hairpin – but I think we are in a good position to get into Superpole and then for the race. We have some ideas to make things a bit better and we will work on them tomorrow and see what happens.
“I want to wish Leon all the best and hope that he makes a quick recovery; we need him out on track, so the sooner he recovers the better.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“There are two ways of looking at the result of Leon’s crash today and we should be grateful that his injuries aren’t worse, because it was a massive impact. That said we’re naturally hugely disappointed that it looks like he won’t be able to race this weekend due to the severity of the open cut to his knee. It looks like it is going to require a lot of maintenance, cleaning and ongoing checks to ensure no infection sets in, and that a more serious complication doesn’t occur. The rider’s health is the priority, but we’re equally disappointed because Leon had only made three laps – and used only the harder rear tyre – and still his lap-time was very competitive. The performance potential was very positive here following the test, so it looks like it will be a case of what might have been!
“Jules improved massively in this afternoon’s session and if he can tidy up one or two key parts of the racetrack, he could be extremely competitive. He and his guys are now finding a mutual understanding of what he needs to go fast consistently and hopefully we can have a solid day tomorrow to prepare for the race.”
Aragon – eni FIM Superbike World championship – Qualifying 1: 1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’58.548: 2. Chaz Davies (BMW) +0.104: 3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +0.339: 4. Marco Melandri +0.396: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.512: 7. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.831: 8. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.866.