Leon Camier has reiterated his claims that the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GXS-R1000 is still capable of winning World Superbike Championship races, but insists the revised bike remains in the early phase of development.
With Suzuki having now withdrawn much of its factory support from the WSBK series, in turn prompting long-term partners Alstare to pull out too, British Superbike stalwarts FIXI Crescent Racing stepped into its place with an ambitious new project involving engine suppliers Yoshimura and adopting a new electronics package from Motec.
However, despite flashes of pace, niggling issues have stymied Camier and team-mate John Hopkins's progress during the early rounds, with Suzuki now the sole manufacturer yet to score a victory (or podium) so far this season.
Nonetheless, Camier feels the GSX-R1000 has substantial potential, but concedes a lack of dry weather testing has hampered FIXI Crescent's efforts to get the electronics' and the engine working together seamlessly.
“There is still plenty to improve on the bike electronics' wise, a little bit with the chassis and I think I can make a couple of improvements myself,” he told Crash.net
“What people don't understand is that we are the leading Motec team and we are having to develop everything, and we have had no testing. The testing we had earlier in the year was plagued with problems, so I would do hardly any laps in the day for having issues with the bike not starting or whatever. We haven't had any dry sessions either, so it has been really difficult.
“Fundamentally I think there has been something wrong with the engine and the electronics [working together] , which causes a lot of problems in places like Monza, but the boys seem to think they have found something, so I am hoping part of the problem is fixed. We just have to keep working away, but things are improving.”
Indeed, Camier, who spent two full seasons with the factory Aprilia team before switching to FIXI Crescent Suzuki, says he feels instantly more comfortable on the GSX-R1000 and even went as far as saying the chassis is good enough to win races in time.
“It was really easy [to switch],” he added. “I jumped on the Suzuki and it felt really good from the start. I could feel the front tyre a lot better than I could on the Aprilia and I instantly really like the character of the bike.
“It has the potential to win I think. Chassis-wise I think it is good enough, it is just a case of getting the electronics right, because they play a massive part in racing. As much as I don't like it, you have to have a bike working right, so if we can get that and the engine working right then the bike is capable of winning eventually.”
Suzuki last won a World Superbike title with Troy Corser in 2005, but was in contention for championship glory as recently as 2010 with Leon Haslam before the manufacturer limited its support. Suzuki's last win at WSBK level came at Kyalami, two years ago.