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Camier fastest, sends Suzuki into the trees!

15 February 2013

Picture by Paul Denning on Twitter (@Paul_Denning).

Leon Camier finished the unofficial WSBK test at Phillip Island on top of the timesheets - and with his Fixi Crescent Suzuki in the trees!

Camier's unofficial best lap-time on the newly resurfaced track was 1m 31.2s, half-of-a-second under the current record.

The Englishman set that time in the morning using a race tyre, then followed it up with a highly competitive race simulation, the only rider to complete such a run.

“The day started off really well and we got down to some good times. The bike felt really comfortable, we improved it a little bit chassis wise and the electronics are slowly getting better,” said Camier.

“We also did a race run, I was not really pushing it, but just trying to be comfortable and the keep the lap-times consistent. We can still improve the race pace and I think I can do a bit of that through my riding.”

Team manager Paul Denning added: “Leon tested alone today and was absolutely flying all day. The bike is working well, the 2013 engine which we've developed with Yoshimura is in a different league to what we had here last year, and the whole package appears to be properly competitive.

“Leon's 31.2 best lap was impressive, but more important for the team was the superb data we gathered from the race simulation run, in-which Leon kept the times all within the 32-second bracket. Phillip Island is so tough on rear tyres, so the consistency bodes well for the race weekend.”

Camier's huge accident occurred at the end of the day when he was pushing hard - and already 0.4-of-a-second under his best time.

Camier lost the front of his GSX-R1000 through the final corner, then looked on as the bike disappeared over the tyre wall, coming to rest in the trees that surround the circuit! Camier escaped unscathed.

“At the end of the day we had a massive crash when I was pushing for a really fast lap - I just got caught out by the wind. The bike was absolutely totalled, so the boys have got a lot of work to do tonight!” he said. “Hopefully we'll be back up to speed as soon as we get back on track on Monday.”

Rookie team-mate Jules Cluzel was absent following a big crash on the opening day, which led to him being admitted to hospital in Melbourne for a small operation to repair damage to his left elbow.

The procedure has been a successful one and Cluzel plans to re-join the team this evening and be back on-track for the two-day test that starts on Monday.

“The high speed of the Phillip Island track, combined with the new high-grip but more unpredictable surface has caught out a lot of riders over these two-days and with two crashes each for our guys, we were very much involved in the carnage!” said Denning.

“Jules was operated on by renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Weymouth today and he'll be able to ride – even if he is a little bit restricted in his movement – in the Official Test on Monday.

“As a rookie to the Superbike class it's not good to lose a full day of testing, but he showed huge speed – maybe a bit too much speed – yesterday and we will approach the test next week very calmly and in a step-by-step manner to re-build his confidence.

“We all have to make sure that we remember that the championship is 15-rounds long and it doesn't all hinge on what Jules does here at Phillip Island next weekend.”

Aprilia's Sylvain Guintoli was credited with the second fastest unofficial Friday lap, just 0.1s from Camier, with Honda's Jonathan Rea a further tenth behind in third.

As well as Camier's spectacular 'off', an expensive day at Phillip Island saw Aryton Badovini's Alstare Ducati's suffer extensive fire damage after a fall.


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