Team Suzuki Press Office – May 25. FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier produced his best Superpole performance of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship season so far to secure a place on the second row at Donington Park in England today.
Camier has been performing well all weekend at his home race and has regularly been up amongst the leaders in each session. He qualified comfortably for this afternoon’s Superpole by recording an impressive third fastest time around the 4,023m British circuit in this morning’s final qualifying session. Camier made his way through to the third and final part of this afternoon’s shoot-out and went all-out in the final session to achieve the best grid position for his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. He pushed as hard as he could and missed-out on a front row start by just 0.238 seconds as he recorded the fifth quickest time to give him a place in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s two races.
Camier will also take heart from the fact that the best lap he produced in Superpole 2 was with a race compound tyre and was only marginally behind his best time with a qualifier.
Jules Cluzel also made it through to Superpole after he finished qualifying in 12th position to make sure of his involvement in the knockout stages. He progressed through to the second session, but was unable to make any further advances and had to settle for 11th position on the grid. He is still looking to get the right set-up for his FIXI Crescent Suzuki around Donington and will continue to work with his crew this evening and in tomorrow’s warm-up to find the best solutions.
Today’s proceedings were held in vastly different conditions to those of yesterday, as warm sunshine covered the circuit all-day long and track temperatures rose to 40°C. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki again took the Superpole award, his fourth consecutive one this season.
Camier and Cluzel will be looking to put on a good show in front of the team’s home crowd tomorrow as the pair battle it out in with the rest of the World Superbike field in the two 23-lap races, the first of which is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (13.00hrs CEST).
“I’m a little bit frustrated because the normal strengths that we have are holding me back a bit this weekend. That front-end feeling on turning-in and then braking just isn’t quite there and this is usually a strong point for us, so we need to work on that to get it right tomorrow. Overall everything feels ok and if we can get it that little bit better should be a lot stronger for the races. It’s going to be tough tomorrow, because so many guys are doing similar lap-times and although it will be good to start nearer the front, as I said it will be difficult, so we’ll just have to get involved with the front group and see what happens.”
“This morning the session went well and the setting for race distance looks good and I did my fastest lap with a tyre that had done 20-laps. I think we need to work on finding something a little better for me and at this moment we are still searching for what that is! In Superpole it was difficult to do a faster lap-time than I did because I had some chatter and nearly crashed. I think we need to work hard to find out the things that are blocking me from going faster at this moment. I will work with Les this evening and see where we can make changes, but i’ll certainly be giving everything tomorrow!”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“For the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team fifth on the grid is a good result – one which normally in qualifying we would be quite content with – but we’re actually a bit disappointed that we didn’t make it on to the front row with Leon. We ran the Superpole sessions – in terms of tactics – perfectly and Leon was the only rider to have a new qualifier left at the end of the third session. Unfortunately the lap didn’t come together and Leon was unable to improve on the lap he had done on the race tyre. Nonetheless, it gives us a competitive chance tomorrow as Leon has been fighting in the lead group all weekend and we’re excited about the prospect for the races tomorrow.
“Jules is also disappointed with 11th but he really shouldn’t be. As with every weekend it’s a new experience with the Superbike and at Donington it’s difficult to get the best out of the horsepower and grip that the GSX-R offers. He’s improved in every session and got into the 28’s in Superpole and he has a very strong attitude towards racing – as we’ve seen all season – so we’re sure we’ll see more from him tomorrow.
“We are looking forward to seeing a lot of our sponsors and guests here at the track on Sunday and we hope that we can put on a show for all of them.”
Donington Park – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Superpole: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’27.378: 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +0.338: 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +0.636: 4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.761: 5 Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.874. 11. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +1.466.