Team Suzuki Press Office – July 19. FIXI Crescent Suzuki riders Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel both had strong first day performances at this weekend’s eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at the Moscow Raceway in Russia.
Camier produced some competitive laps in this afternoon’s first qualifying session to place him just over one-tenth-of-a-second away from a provisional front-row start. The Englishman looked impressive over the first three sectors of the 3,931m Russian circuit, but is aware that he needs to make up some time in the final two sectors. If he can achieve that, it will leave him in a very promising position for Sunday’s two races.
Cluzel looked confident and at ease on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R1000 as he gave one of his best first-day performances of the year so far. He was only 0.9 seconds from the top-spot in this morning’s free practice session and followed that up to finish the first qualifying just 0.7 seconds from pole position. Cluzel is positive that he can go faster and will be looking to improve his time tomorrow.
Today’s sessions were held in dry, but windy conditions, with track temperatures reaching 38°C, but with wet weather forecast tomorrow, the data gathered today could prove vital for the races. Quickest time of the day went to championship leader Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will have one more qualifying session tomorrow morning to confirm the places for the afternoon’s Superpole, where the riders will battle for the best grid positions for Sunday’s two 25-lap races.
“We made some good progress in this afternoon’s session and only made had to make a couple of changes through the day to make the GSX-R suit the track. From the start today we found a bit of speed, but we are still losing a big chunk of time in the last sector. We think we know how we can improve on that and then we should be quite strong. If we can make that big step in the final part of the track, we will be right up there; so all our attention is focused on that now and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
“I am quite happy with how things have gone today because it has been a consistent day and I feel strong on the bike. I have enjoyed every lap from the start of the day and I’ve felt really comfortable on the bike. My lap-time has improved on every exit and I think I can go faster, so that’s good. This morning I was nine-tenths off the fastest time and this afternoon only seven-tenths and I think I have a big chance to make faster laps, because I am confident that we can improve the bike in one or two places. It could be wet tomorrow, but that does not bother me because if it is wet or dry I think we can have a good race here.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It’s been a solid first day’s work by the whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki team and both riders have performed strongly. Jules, in particular, has demonstrated a huge improvement over Imola – where frankly speaking we struggled to find the best way of working – and we followed that event with some discussions between us, which appear to have paid dividends. As always there are a number of small details to improve upon and if we could have Leon’s lap-time for the first three sectors added to Jules’s for the last two, then that would be absolutely perfect! It is an interesting race-track here in Moscow and we’re looking forward to what we can achieve in the next two days.”
Moscow – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Qualifying 1: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’36.567: 2. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +0.048: 3. Marco Melandri (BMW) +0.324: 4. Carlos Checa (Ducati) +0.354: 5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +0.397: 6. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.446. 11. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.737.