Having speculated that he may not last the length of two races, Leon Camier put in a determined performance to defy his suspected glandular fever and claim an unexpected top six result at Phillip Island.
The Aprilia Alitalia rider, who has been suffering with ill health all weekend, had expressed his concerns that a lack of energy and concentration would consign him to the sidelines for the 2011 World Superbike season opener.
However, having braved his condition to finish 13th in the first race, Camier produced a remarkable ride in the second to not only stay in the hunt, but also make up ground as the race progressed.
Attributing his performance to 'riding calmly', Camier charged up the order in the latter stages, snatching seventh and then sixth on the final lap to complete a remarkable result.
“I'm honestly shocked by today's results, especially the second race,” said Camier, who started 17th and 16th for the two races. “I just concentrated on keeping things steady and trying to get into a rhythm, not making any mistakes, and I managed to work my way through.
“I have never felt so ill and wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish, so to come away just outside the top ten of the Championship isn't so bad. It's frustrating to think what might have been if I wasn't ill, but there's no point dwelling on it. There's a long season ahead of us and to see what we achieved today, even with my illness, is definitely encouraging.
With his home round at Donington Park still a month away, Camier is now looking forward to being allowed some time to recover from his illness properly.
“I can't really explain just how tired I'm feeling now. Luckily we've got four weeks before the round at Donington Park to try and get myself back to normal. I really want to thank everyone who has taken the time to send in messages of support this weekend. Hopefully I can repay you all at the next round.”