Team Suzuki Press Office – August 2. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier began his birthday celebrations early as he set the second fastest time during first qualifying at today’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship event at Silverstone in England.
Camier celebrates his 27th birthday on Sunday and started the weekend off in good style by setting the second-quickest time in this morning’s free practice session around the 5,902m English circuit, a feat he followed up this afternoon to give him a provisional front-row start for Sunday’s two races. Camier looked impressive all day on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and believes that with a few small improvements he will be able to push all the way on race-day.
Jules Cluzel made significant steps between today’s two sessions that saw him shave almost a-second-and-a-half off his morning practice time during this afternoon’s qualifying. The Frenchman is making his first appearance at the fast and complicated Silverstone circuit on a Superbike and used this morning’s session to re-assess his braking points and lines before pushing for a faster time later in the day. Cluzel claimed the 10th quickest time in qualifying, but admitted that a mistake on what looked like being his best lap cost him dearly and stopped him from being much higher on the time-sheets.
Today’s activities were held in changing conditions with the occasional hint of rain, which fortunately never materialised. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki led the way by securing the top spot in both the practice and qualifying sessions.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will have a further 45-minutes of qualifying tomorrow morning to finalise the riders that progress to the afternoon’s Superpole. This will see the top-15 battle it out for the best grid positions for Sunday’s races.
“I’m happy to be up towards the front and it’s a good way to start the weekend. I don’t think we really improved on anything from the first to the second session, which is probably a good thing because the bike feels quite fast and it’s giving me what I want in a few places, but I think if we can make a couple of improvements to the bike we can go a good step quicker. We’ll keep working and try to get the best feeling and performance we can from the FIXI Crescent Suzuki. The weather was good today; it did drizzle a bit this morning, but that didn’t affect anything. The wind was a bit of a problem and it changed direction this afternoon, it pushed me wide in a few areas and this made the set-up difficult to find, as it was hard to know if it was the wind pushing me wide or the bike’s setting. Grip is also pretty bad out there, but it’s the same for everyone, so we’ll keep working and see what happens.”
“It’s been quite a difficult day, because this morning I didn’t have quite a good feeling on the bike. We ran the same tyres for the whole session, so I was expecting some improvement this afternoon and with a new set of the same compound tyres I was immediately one-second quicker, which was quite good. On my last run I used a different compound and at the end I improved by another four-tenths-of-a-second, but I made a big mistake in the last split where I lost three or four-tenths and if that hadn’t happened I could have been second or third; so I think we are doing quite well and i’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“Considering that both riders think there are big steps to take forward with chassis balance and overall performance of the GSX-R1000s from the first day here at Silverstone, the result looks pretty positive and promising for the rest of the weekend, especially if we can find the improvements they are looking for. Silverstone is an incredibly-challenging track, with a mix of high corner speeds and demanding requirements for the bike and rider over the course of a lap. It’s tough to find the perfect balance, but the boys will be doing the best they can to do just that.
“It’s nice to be at the team’s second home race of the year, we’ve had a busy day and a big involvement from two of our partners, Voltcom and Catch Resource Management. We hope we can build steadily over the weekend and get the results the team and all the partners are looking for.”
Silverstone – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Qualifying 1: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’05.355: 2. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.881: 3. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +0.977: 4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.994: 5. Leon Haslam (Honda) 0.998. 10 Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +1.363.