Leon Camier is celebrating giving Suzuki its first World Superbike podium in more than a year at the Nurburgring after two dogged fight backs were rewarded with his and FIXI Crescent Racing's best results of the season.
Fresh from only his second top five finish of 2012 in Russia, Camier was feeling confident about his chances after qualifying seventh on the grid, but a technical issue in the lead up to the first race meant he actually started 22nd and last.
Despite this, Camier scythed his way through the pack, a charge that would take him all the way to fifth place and just behind Tom Sykes, who had led the opening half of the race.
“It has been an eventful weekend - as usual - beginning with having to start from the last row of the grid in race one. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team did a great job fixing the problem and getting me back out again in time for the warm-up lap.
“When the race began, I put my head down and just went for it and was soon overtaking riders one-by-one and making good progress lap-by-lap. At the end, I was getting closer and closer to Sykes and I think I would've also passed him, but I just ran out of time.
Able to take up his spot on the second row for race two, a poor start once again left Camier on the back foot, but it wasn't long before he was again marching up the order, getting all the way to second place before eventually succumbing in his battle with Eugene Laverty.
Nonetheless, third place still marks the first podium of the season for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team, while it is the first for the manufacturer since Michel Fabrizio finished third at Monza in 2011.
Crediting the upturn in pace with improvements to the Motec electronics, Camier's trio of consecutive top five results means he is up to 12th in the standings and just 20.5 points from the top ten.
“I got a horrible start in race two and once again had to work my socks off getting through the pack. I got up to third place after 13 laps and passed Laverty two laps later, but a bit of a 'moment' in the final chicane, one lap from the end, let Laverty back through and although I gave it everything I had, he just held me off.
“I'm very happy with the podium - it's been a long time - and the result in race one wasn't bad either. The bike felt pretty good. The chassis has always been good and the Motec electronics are working extremely well and all this has given us a chance of running with the best. I'm really looking forward to the next couple of races and hope the team can continue to make progress and we get more results like this.”