Camier fights back to make BSB history
9 August 2009
Leon Camier has completed his third British Superbike race win of the weekend at Brands Hatch, a 14th victory of the year that confirms him as the most coveted rider over a single season.
Camier recovered from a dismal start to catch and pass Broc Parkes with five laps remaining, the champion-elect claiming an unprecedented treble at the inaugural 'triple-header' BSB event.
Furthermore, while the win surpasses Niall Mackenzie's tally of 13, recorded back in 1997, Camier's triumph also represents GSE Racing's 100th victory at BSB level.
He was made to work hard for it though, Camier bogging down at the start and being swamped as the field dived into Paddock Hill Bend. Instead, it was an Australian 1-2, with Parkes taking the lead from Karl Muggeridge, the Honda rider scything up the inside of the front row to move into second.
Camier, on the other hand, found himself eighth as the order filtered out, behind James Ellison in third, Stuart Easton, Tommy Hill, Michael Rutter and Karl Harris.
Camier wasted no time in regaining his composure though, rising to sixth at the end of the second lap before passing both Hill and Easton on lap four to move into fourth position.
Straight onto the back of Ellison as they entered lap five, Camier simply swept around the outside of his team-mate at Paddock Hill Bend, before disposing of Muggeridge at Surtees, to complete his sixth pass in just over two laps around a circuit that is traditionally difficult to overtake on.
Despite his rapid ascension, Camier still had a three second margin to break down on the leader, Parkes having sprinted out into a comfortable lead while Muggeridge backed up the field.
Camier didn't make much headway initially either, the gap remaining largely static as Parkes pushed hard to anticipate the impending threat of the Airwaves Yamaha. Eventually, Camier began to lap more consistently than the Kawasaki, reeling off a series of fast times to catch his rival by lap 15.
By the time they had reached Surtees, Camier was back in the lead, Parkes having made an error to allow his rival through. With a clear track ahead, Camier promptly began easing out his advantage, pulling away to reach the chequered flag more than two seconds up on Parkes.
While Camier's win re-writes the history books, with nine races still remaining this season, he now has the opportunity to keep raising the bar as the series heads to Cadwell Park, Croft, Silverstone and Oulton Park.
He won't have the attentions of Parkes to deal with either, the guest World Superbike rider completing a brace of podium finishes for himself and the Kawasaki team having been the only man to get even remotely close to Camier throughout the weekend.
Away from the dramas taking place up front, the tussle for the remaining podium position was closely fought, with Ellison eventually prevailing. A positive end to a tough weekend for the Cumbrian, Ellison slipped to fifth at one stage, behind Muggeridge and Easton, but eventually emerged in front when he passed the latter at the half-way mark.
It meant Easton was denied the chance to make it three identical podiums in fourth position, the Scot unable to cling onto Ellison as the race wore on.
Having put in a strong initial effort, Muggeridge also began to fade, slipping into the clutches of the chasing pack, led by John Laverty.
Producing a fine ride from 12th on the grid, Laverty battled his way into contention with a series of passing manoeuvres, eventually relieving Muggeridge of fifth position on lap 14 to record another impressive result for the improving Buildbase Kawasaki team.
Muggeridge was forced to settle for sixth, ahead of Hill and Sheridan Morais, the South African again suffering from a bad start, but being able to claw his way back to eighth, his best result of the weekend.
Ian Lowry brought his troubled weekend to a close with a solid run to ninth, while Michael Rutter made it home tenth to make it four Kawasakis inside the top ten.
Outside the top ten, Steve Brogan crossed the line in 11th, ahead of Graeme Gowland, Karl Harris and Gary Mason, the latter mirroring Camier in winning all three Cup races on the Quay Garage Honda.
In the overall standings, Camier is now 113.5 points ahead of Ellison, with Easton just losing some ground to the Airwaves rider in third.
Despite a lowly 14th place finish in the final race, Harris consolidates his newly acquired fourth overall, while Glen Richards clings on to fifth, just two points up on Lowry, the Relentless Suzuki rider's consistency moving him up to an impressive sixth overall.