Team Suzuki Press Office – August 3. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier saw a front-row start cruelly disappear when the session he was competing in at Silverstone in England was cancelled due to rain during this afternoon’s Superpole at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship event.
Camier had continued with the form he showed on Friday by finishing this morning’s second qualifying session on top of the time-sheets, to give him second overall on combined times and followed that up with third in the final free practice to signify his intentions for the Superpole. The Englishman – who celebrates his birthday tomorrow – made his way comfortably through Superpole 1 and 2 and into the third and most significant session. Camier immediately used a qualifying tyre and set a very impressive lap-time to take third place and what looked like the team’s first front-row start of the season. As the session wore on, small spots of rain fell around the 5,902m Silverstone circuit and immediately Race Control red flagged the session and declared a Wet Superpole, making all the previous times void. This led to a 20-minute session that would decide the front three rows. Camier started well on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and was again in third when larger spots of rain fell, forcing all riders back to the pits. As the rain cleared the track was dry enough for some fast times, but unfortunately Camier wasn’t able to improve on his time and will start tomorrow’s two races from seventh place.
Jules Cluzel again made another step in the second qualifying by taking a further 0.7 seconds off his best time from yesterday and making his way into Superpole. He again showed his qualifying skill as he set the fastest time in Superpole 1, but wasn’t able to replicate that and missed out on progressing to the final session by just 0.008 seconds. His time was good enough to give him 10th place on the grid and a start immediately behind his team-mate.
Sunday’s two 18-lap races look to be an exciting affair with both FIXI Crescent Suzuki riders determined to perform well in front of the team’s home crowd and the many sponsors, partners and guests that will be joining them at Silverstone. The first race is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time, with race two ready for the off at 15.30hrs.
“I’m really upset by what happened in Superpole, but it is what it is and we have to accept it. We have been second or third in every session so far this weekend and I was third in Superpole 3, which I thought was good enough, but typically with how our luck seems to go, it sort of half dribbled at the wrong time and my time didn’t count. The few spots of rain didn’t affect us as we had already done the lap-time, but even when I was on my lap it wasn’t enough to slow me down, but they decided to stop it and end the session anyway – which was really frustrating. In the wet Superpole I went out on race-tyres and instantly went fast because it wasn’t wet and I set the third fastest time, which again I thought would be good enough because it did start to rain a bit more, but again it proved that it wasn’t. We went out at the end and I tried the kerbs to see if there was enough grip, but there wasn’t and I had a bit of a moment so I backed off, but everyone else went quicker and that was the end of it. We have improved this weekend though and the bike is working really well, we still need to find a bit of consistency on race tyres, but I am sure we can be challenging tomorrow; they are long races and anything can happen.”
“I was happy with the feeling in Superpole, because we have improved the bike and I had a good feeling with the race-tyre. I put in a qualifier for the first Superpole, the bike was great and I could do a really good lap-time. In Superpole 2 I started with another race-tyre and did a better time and the feeling was still improving, so this is good for the race. With the second qualifier I expected to improve, but I had a strange sensation from the front and I nearly crashed, so I didn’t have the best feeling and I made a big mistake in the last sector, so this cost me a place in Superpole 3. I am disappointed about this, but happy with the way the weekend has gone because I am here to improve on every exit and I have done that and now tomorrow I think we can make a good race.”
Paul Denning -Team Manager:
“In terms of outright performance, it’s been another positive day at Silverstone for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. Leon was quickest in final qualifying this morning, third in free practice and looked to have qualified third in Superpole when the weather and some bad luck intervened. I don’t really have too much to say about that, other than I hope it doesn’t compromise the race tomorrow, but starting from seventh isn’t a complete disaster and we’re looking forward to Leon translating the pace he’s had all weekend into two very good results tomorrow.
“Jules has found more confidence today and Les – his Crew Chief – has worked patiently to improve the GSX-R. He only missed the final nine in Superpole by just eight-thousandths-of-a-second and improved his race pace. He’s enjoying riding the bike now, which is a big part of any riders’ performance, so we hope he can show his racing spirit tomorrow and make us proud.”
Silverstone – eni FIM Superbike World Championship – Wet Superpole: 1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 2. Carlos Checa (Ducati) +0.219: 3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 0.348: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +0.375: 5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) +1.219. 7. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +2.045. 10 Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).