Team Suzuki Press Office – June 30. FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier took a pair of solid seventh places from today’s two races at the seventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Imola in Italy.
Camier fought hard throughout both races and was involved in several battles during the two 21-lap events. In both races the Englishman was hampered by tyre chatter that caused him to struggle with controlling the power and entering the corners. He battled manfully over the full race distance before bringing his bike home in seventh and believes that without the issues he could have been fighting for a podium position today.
Jules Cluzel again showed his racing potential as he looked set for a top-10 finish in race two, before a small technical issue robbed him of the chance. He had fought his way up from 14th on the grid to inside the top-10, but he developed a handling problem and was unable to take advantage of his position as the race wore on. Cluzel lost a place to Leon Haslam and then went straight on at the final chicane on the last lap and lost another position to Ayrton Badovini, leaving the Frenchman in 11th at the chequered flag. Unfortunately for Cluzel, he failed to finish race one after crashing-out, when he again looked to be in a position to challenge for a place inside the top-10 aboard his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Today’s two races were held in glorious sunshine with track temperatures heating up to 54°C. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes followed up his Pole Position with two commanding wins that saw him move to the top of the championship.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will stay at Imola for a day of testing, before it heads to Russia for the next round of the Superbike World Championship, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday July 21st.
“For some reason the tyre span on the rim today and there was nothing more that I could do, because I was pushing so hard and adapting my style to try and cope with the chatter. In the parts of the track where I didn’t have chatter I was really fast and I think I could have caught the guys in front and challenged for the podium, but when I got to the points where the bike had chatter, there was nothing more I could do and I was so limited. On a positive note though we did a good job this weekend and without the problems we were strong. I think electronically we still need to improve, we’ve got it working really well with what we’ve got, but we need to try and come up with some better strategies that will help me put more power to the ground. ”
“I am really disappointed with the whole weekend in general because we never found a fast lap and maybe in race one it should have been my best performance of the weekend, but I went straight on twice and the second time I crashed because I could not find the gear, but I think my race-pace was good enough for eighth or ninth. Race two felt worse for me and I fought with Haslam and Badovini. I passed them both, but in the middle of the race I had a strange feeling on the front and it had some big movement and I was quite scared because it was in the fast turn, so I slowed down a little bit. On the last lap I went straight-on in the final chicane because I couldn’t get first gear and lost a place. I am not enjoying this weekend and I hope that in the test tomorrow we can find some good improvements.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“This weekend didn’t bring the team quite the results we were hoping for, but it certainly wasn’t through a lack of trying by the crew or the riders. Leon rode hard all day, but over race-distance we just lacked a bit of performance and consistency, especially on the slow-corner exits, and this made it tough for him to live with the fastest riders. We are frustratingly close to challenging the top-five, our rhythm on average is half-a-second away from the factory BMWs and we’ll keep working hard to make sure that we can make both of the riders’ jobs easier and allow them to extract the full potential out of the GSX-R over race distance.
“Jules had a tough day; he improved a lot on race day – as he always does – but a first race crash and an unfortunate technical issue in the second race robbed him of what could have been a top-10 finish. We have work to do and we’re excited about getting into it; starting with the test here at Imola tomorrow.”
Imola – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race One: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 37’52.860: 2. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +7.198: 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +9.484: 4. Marco Melandri (BMW) +10.323: 5. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) +18.697. 7. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +22.412. DNF. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
Imola – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Race Two:1. Sykes 37’51.947: 2. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +5.032: 3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +10.201: 4. Melandri +13.120: 5. Chaz Davies (BMW) +13.630. 7. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +25.420. 11. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +42.888.
World Championship Classification: 1. Sykes 235: 2. Guintoli 229: 3. Laverty 190: 4. Melandri 182: 5. Davies 154. 10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 80. 11. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 77.