Camier inches closer to history at Brands
8 August 2009
Leon Camier began his quest to become the first-ever 'triple' British Superbike race winner at Brands Hatch in style by prevailing in a tight exchange with Broc Parkes.
Parkes led in the early stages aboard the factory World Superbike Kawasaki, but was caught and passed at just over the half way mark by Camier, who went on to sprint home for a twelfth win of the season.
Now just one win behind Niall Mackenzie's all-time record of triumphs in a single season, Camier has the opportunity to surpass him should he be victorious in the two remaining races this weekend.
Still, Camier was made to work hard for the win though, the Airwaves Yamaha man getting his customary poor start from pole position, the gradient of the Brands Hatch start line seeing him down to fourth as the field filtered into Paddock Hill Bend.
Instead, it was fellow front row sitter Parkes who got away best, diving into the lead ahead of fellow Australian Karl Muggeridge, the World Superbike exile leaping up from eighth position to follow his countryman around Druids.
James Ellison initially held third, before Camier got the better of him through Graham Hill Bend, the Cumbrian being demoted to sixth by the conclusion of the first lap after being overtaken by Chris Walker and Stuart Easton, the latter up from tenth on the grid.
With Parkes already pulling out a margin over Muggeridge in the lead, Camier wasted no time in disposing of the Honda, passing him on the second lap to go off in pursuit of the Kawasaki.
The second race in succession a Kawasaki has led things out front, Parkes had a healthy advantage over Camier in the initial laps, but the championship leader would quickly begin to make headway, eventually latching onto the back of the ZX-10R with ten laps remaining.
While Parkes put up a defence to his rival for just over a lap, he was unable to prevent him diving up the inside at Druids following the good run down the home straight and through Paddock Hill Bend on lap ten.
Camier quickly began to put air between himself and Parkes, but while the multiple World Supersport race winner rallied in the closing stages, there was still a margin of just under two seconds as they crossed the finish line.
Although the first BSB Kawasaki podium in some time, it was not all delight for the Paul Bird Motorsport concern after Parkes' team-mate Sheridan Morais crashed on the opening lap. A poor start had left the South African down in eighth before an attempt to pass Tommy Hill at Stirlings forced him to sit up. With no opportunity to recover, he was forced to set the bike down.
The battle for the final podium position instead belonged to Honda duo Muggeridge and Easton, with the factory rider holding out as long as lap five before the Scot found a way through.
His move came too late for him to be a factor in the battle for the lead though, Easton instead being forced to 'settle' for third position, more than eleven seconds from Camier.
Surviving a late assault by Hill, Muggeridge was an impressive fourth on his BSB debut, the former World Supersport Champion very nearly achieving the podium he could never quite manage in World Superbikes.
Hill crossed the line in fifth position, but not before surviving a thrilling battle with Ellison and Walker. Hill was charging up the order when he reached Walker, diving through at Paddock Hill Bend, only to run wide and allow his rival back up the inside on the run to Druids.
With Ellison also attempting to take the shorter line, Walker and Hill briefly clashed knees as they sped up to the corner. Nonetheless, Hill eased Walker onto the tightest route around Druids to come out ahead decisively.
Walker, meanwhile, would begin to slide down the order, with Ellison passing him for sixth position before John Laverty, putting in an inspired performance on the Buildbase Kawasaki from 13th on the grid, swept through with a daring move on the run up to Sheene Curve. A further pass by Karl Harris, who never recovered from a poor start off the front row, would leave Walker a disappointed ninth.
Julien Da Costa made it three different Kawasaki teams inside the top ten, the Frenchman catching and passing team-mate Michael Rutter in the closing stages, the MSS Colchester returnee scoring points in 11th.
Ian Lowry, who is suffering from illness this weekend, ailed to 12th, ahead of Gary Mason, who extended his lead in the Mirror.co.uk Cup standings in 13th, Steve Brogan and Tristan Palmer.
With two races to go this weekend, Camier is now 90.5 points ahead of Ellison in the standings, with Easton a further 45 points adrift. The injured Glen Richards remains fourth, but Karl Harris is now fifth. Chris Walker rises to seventh, between Brands Hatch absentees Josh Brookes and Simon Andrews.