Leon Camier has reflected that pivotal to his performance over the second half of his 'rookie' World Superbike Championship campaign in 2010 will be his ability to banish the niggling errors that have hampered his efforts over the opening eight rounds, as he admits he still 'hasn't quite found' the key to unlocking the full potential from his Aprilia RSV-4.
Whilst Camier has ascended the rostrum twice thus far this season – with third place at Assen and second at Miller Motorsports Park – those achievements pale somewhat in comparison with the eight victories notched up by championship-leading, ex-MotoGP team-mate Max Biaggi.
Retirements in a quarter of the races he has contested to-date have not helped the 23-year-old's cause, but he has invariably been on the pace wherever the WSBK circus has travelled – it's just the mishaps that need to be ironed out, he concedes, especially with such tiny gaps between the front-runners on the timesheets that amplify even the slightest of mistakes.
“There are plenty of ups-and-downs all the time and a lot of good points and bad,” reflected the reigning British Superbike Champion, speaking to Crash.net Radio
at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he took a 'pretty cool' stock version of his racing bike for a 'steady' spin up the famous hill at the Chichester stately home.
“The frustrating thing is, we've normally got good enough pace to be around the podium, but for one reason or another it doesn't always happen. With just a small mistake in qualifying or practice or whenever, it can very easily go wrong – and because it's so competitive, it's so easy to make that mistake. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing, try and eradicate the problems and be at the front.
“For example, at Misano the other week we made a few mistakes in qualifying, which obviously wasn't good, and I ended up 14th. Two tenths more and I could have been sixth, and if you're starting from sixth you've got the chance to possibly even win the race if you've got the pace, but from 14th you're not going to do it. It's what it is – it's the world championship, it's really, really competitive and you've got to be as good as you can be.
“Just the depth of the field I'd say is the big thing. I think if you can ride at the front in BSB, you can be up at the front in the world championship too, as a lot of us are proving – and I think a lot of the British guys will do well as wild cards when they come to race at Silverstone.
“The podiums have been good, and if we can just get everything to run smoothly over a weekend then we can be up there. Miller went really well for us – we had a second, and should have had a podium in the first race as well but we had a bit of a tyre problem. South Africa went pretty badly; we had a rear tyre problem, and I ended up pulling in during the second race – so plenty of ups-and-downs like I say, but it's all part of the fun!
“I need to just try to make slightly less mistakes. The way it works in the world championship is that I'm in control of my set-up with my team around me, so I have to make sure that nothing really goes wrong. I maybe need to be a bit stronger with them and tell them how to approach different situations a bit better. There are lots of little things that add up to it being right, and it's so complicated to get it all right.