Camier ends record-breaking season in style
11 October 2009
Leon Camier brought his record-breaking British Superbike Championship season to a close in fine fashion with a dominant 19th victory of the year at Oulton Park.
Having been made to work hard during the first two races, an aggressive opening lap would see Camier take a lead he wouldn't lose all the way to the chequered flag.
The story could have been somewhat different for Camier, who rounded the opening bend in fourth position during the first start, behind Stuart Easton and Tommy Hill, only for the race to be red flagged almost straight away following a nasty accident at Cascades.
Involving Simon Andrews and Alastair Seeley, Andrews' impact was particularly vicious after he was sent catapulting over his Kawasaki due to contact through the sweeping left-hander. Treated by medics at the scene, the delay to proceedings would see the race reduced to a 12 lap sprint.
At the second start, it was Hill who got the better of Easton this time, Camier following in third around Old Hall before picking off Easton for second by Cascades.
Having been embroiled in tense fights in races one and two, Camier wasted no time in dispatching of Hill, getting a run on him out of Druids to complete his move into the lead by Lodge.
From here, Camier immediately put the hammer down, pulling out an advantage over Hill, who was now having to contend with the attentions of Easton for third. Further back, James Ellison was struggling on the second Yamaha, dropping behind Josh Brookes in fourth and fifth as the pair quickly fell away from the podium battle.
Having been a model of consistency all season, with not a single crash to speak of, Easton's perfect record would be ruined on lap five when, as he pressured Hill, he clipped a kerb at Brittens and was sent down. Unable to get going again, the retirement brings Easton's outstanding season on the Hydrex Honda to a disappointing close.
Ellison was about to fall by the wayside too after seemingly encountering a problem with his Airwaves Yamaha, the three-time race winner slipping back rapidly but refusing to retire from the race as he sought to protect a 100 per cent points record.
Leaving just Camier and Hill to battle it out for the win, although the former World Superbike rider rallied hard to close to gap on his rival, it was Camier who would cross the line a comfortable winner.
The ideal end to a magnificent season that has seen Camier break a series of long-standing records, the 23-year-old will next be seen on the World Superbike stage with Aprilia at the Portimao season finale.
Hill did his chances of retaining his place at Hydrex Honda no harm at all with a second rostrum finish of the weekend, finishing well ahead of the factory Honda of Joshua Brookes, who in turn brought a strong – if controversial – season to a close with a tenth podium.
A flurry of good results at the end of the year also meant the Australian would come out top in the fight for fourth in the standings, ahead of Ian Lowry, who capitalised on Simon Andrews' last race retirement to finish the year as the top Suzuki rider and Superbike rookie in fifth overall.
Lowry had finished fourth in the race after coming out top in a battle with fellow Suzuki competitor Sylvain Guintoli, while Chris Walker, Glen Richards, Tommy Bridewell and Gary Mason completed the top ten finishing positions.
An ailing Ellison, meanwhile, held on for 12th to ensure that he scores in every race this season, a feat no other rider has been able to match in 2009.