Leon Camier says a spot on the front two rows of the grid at Misano is the key to a strong result around the Italian circuit as he looks to overcome his United States disappointment.
The British rider showed good pace aboard the FIXI Crescent Suzuki at Miller Motorsports Park, but a faulty tyre during Q2 left him 20th on the grid and unable to make up enough ground to finish inside the top ten.
It's a set-back Camier is determined to avoid at Misano, where qualifying position around the notoriously twisty circuit can have a crucial effect on your race results.
“Misano is fairly technical and has a combination of fast sections, slow corners and chicanes, so it is important - like most tracks - to have a good bike set-up and a good grid position,” he said. “If you don't have a place on the front two rows of the grid, it's virtually impossible to make up the ground on the leaders because there is only one line through the first part of the track and it's very easy to get held up.
“My race pace in the last round was good, but my grid position was not and therefore it wasn't possible to catch the leaders. So my first task this weekend is to qualify well and give myself a chance of a good result.
“Miller was difficult for us, but I have a feeling that Misano will suit the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R better. I haven't had much luck there in the past three years, so this year will be a good time to change all that.”
Hopkins, meanwhile, makes his first appearance to the Rimini circuit for the first time since 2009 when he participated in WSBK practice sessions as a Stiggy Honda rider. Scene of a MotoGP podium finish in 2007, Hopkins is looking forward to getting reacquainted with Misano.
“I have raced at Misano before, so at least I will not be at a disadvantage in that area this time and will know which way the track goes. Although it's probably not my favourite circuit, I actually do enjoy riding there, because it has a lot of variety and is technically challenging.
“Some parts are fast and some not, but the most important thing for me this coming weekend is to get into Superpole and qualify well. Because of the track's nature in the first section, starting on the first or second rows of the grid is a must.
“I was on the Misano podium in 2007 with Suzuki in MotoGP, though I've not ridden there since taking part in WSBK practice in 2009. I'm sure I'll find my way round it right from the get-go and will be going flat out for a good result.”