Leon Camier was pleased to post only his and FIXI Crescent Suzuki's second top five finish of the season at the Moscow Raceway, ensuring a positive conclusion to an otherwise difficult maiden foray to Russia.
The Briton's weekend got off to an inauspicious start when he was innocently caught up in Loris Baz's FP1 accident, before more woes in qualifying consigned him to a lowly 18th position on the grid.
Determined to make gains in the races, Camier risked the choice of wet tyres in the damp first encounter (one of only two riders on the grid to do so), but would find himself losing handfuls of seconds per lap until he eventually decided to pit.
Even so, though Camier would finish two laps down on the leaders, the high attrition did allow him to score a single point in 15th.
"The track was pretty damp for race one and there was only about a two foot wide dry line round most of it. Because of my grid position, I knew that in order to pass people I would have to go off the dry line. That wouldn't have been possible on slicks, so I opted for wets instead.
“I also thought that the rain would come again, but when that didn't happen and the track dried out, I had no choice but to come into the pits and switch to slicks. That cost a lot of time and after my new tyres had been fitted I rejoined the race dead last. I pushed as hard as I could and ended 15th.”
Seeking better fortune in race two, Camier got his head down to make impressive headway from his position on the fifth row, shrugging off his GSX-R1000's top speed disadvantage to pull off a determined charge that brought him right into the top ten.
With Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty crashing ahead of him on the final lap, Camier was thus promoted to fifth place, only the second time the manufacturer has made it into the top five this year.
"Happily there were no difficult tyre choices to make for race two as the track was dry and the sun was out. I made a reasonably good start and then rode very aggressively, passing people on the outside as well as the inside.
“My FIXI Crescent Suzuki felt good and the only place I was really losing out was on the long back straight. At the end, my body was hurting and it was getting hard to concentrate, but I was pretty happy to take fifth place."