Team Suzuki Press Office – September 11. FIXI Crescent Suzuki will be looking for success as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to Istanbul in Turkey for the first time in its history this weekend for the 11th round of the 2013 season.
Leon Camier will be making his debut at the Turkish circuit, less than two weeks after a horrific accident left his participation in the event in doubt. The Englishman had a huge crash at Nurburgring in race one and was air-lifted to hospital with suspected back and neck injuries. A subsequent scan and thorough investigation by the German doctors cleared Camier and he was able to return home to Andorra to begin his recuperation and prepare for this weekend’s race. He is still suffering with some discomfort from the accident and will attempt to ride his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in Friday’s first practice session and assess his condition further.
Jules Cluzel is one of a handful of riders with experience of the Istanbul track after competing there in 2005 in the MotoGP™ 125cc class and then again in the 250 series in 2006 and 2007. His experience will hold him in good stead to be able to re-learn the layout of the circuit quickly, but will find the power of a Superbike considerably different around the track to the two-stroke machines that he has ridden there before.
The 5,338m Intercity Istanbul Park is situated in the Asian side of Turkey and looks like being one of the most demanding and technical circuits on the calendar. The track has 14 corners throughout its anti-clockwise rotation and in some places the circuit is in excess of 21m wide; this should hopefully give many opportunities for overtaking and close, exciting racing as all riders learn their lines on a circuit that very few of them have raced on before. The layout feature fast tricky downhill braking sections and many elevation changes, plus one of the fastest corners in racing – which is taken at speeds in excess of 250km/h!
This weekend’s schedule also takes on a different look as the World Superbike riders will be given a 90-minute free-practice session on Friday morning to allow them extra time to come to terms with the challenging facets of the circuit. This will give them the chance to push their machines, tyres and chassis to the limits to find the best set-up as they prepare for Sunday’s two 18-lap races, the first of which will get underway at 11.00hrs local time (09.00hrs BST) and race two set for the off at 14.30hrs local time (12.30hrs BST).
“I’m still a bit beaten-up from the accident and although my neck is feeling a lot better it’s not perfect. My arm and hand are giving me a bit of trouble, because I don’t really have full feeling yet. I think I might have a bit of nerve damage, but I’ve been in the gym and it’s getting better all the time. It still hurts a bit in certain positions, but I will give it a try on Friday and see how I get on. It should be ok, but until I ride and feel what it’s like, I won’t know for sure. I’ve never been to the Istanbul track before, but I’ve heard good things about it, so I really want to be fit to ride.”
“It is good that we haven’t had to wait too long for this race to come, because the last race wasn’t an easy one for us, so we need to get back to work and find the performance and rhythm we had at Silverstone. I like the Turkish track, it’s a good layout and I remember it from riding there before. It’s a very fast circuit, so that should be fun, it will be a bit more like Silverstone so that should suit me and I’m looking for a competitive weekend. I know that to be on the podium every race is not realistic, but I want to be close to the top-five, I know this is possible and it’s the first target this weekend.”