Leon Camier feels the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team reaped the rewards of a testing rookie season in the World Superbike Championship.
The British rider, who has already completed a new deal to ride the GSX-R1000 in 2013, enjoyed a strong finish to the campaign, although admits he 'struggled' to be competitive at the beginning of the year.
Camier, though, never lost faith in the project and his steely determination and the team's will to succeed paid dividends later in the season as the former British Superbike champion began to challenge for the podium.
"The season as a whole has been a bit of a strange one, but we've ended on a very positive note and that's good for me and the whole team,” said Camier.
“It was no secret that we were struggling a bit to match the performance in the early rounds of the other guys out there, but I knew the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R had potential, so I never gave up and kept riding at my absolute maximum.
“My race pace was always up there with the best and we showed that going into the turns I was always able to catch other riders, because the GSX-R has a great chassis, but they would pull away from me on the straights and I'd have to do it all over again,” added Camier on his latest official Team Suzuki blog.
“The team worked hard all year to make the bike better and the fruits of their labour started to show around about Brno time and the progress has continued since then.”
Camier made a stunning breakthrough with a rostrum finish at the Nurburgring and looked poised to challenge eventual champion Max Biaggi
for third place at Portimao in Portugal until he was forced out by a technical issue at the end of the race.
“It was so good to be able to fight for a top-three place and we showed how much we'd improved by a superb podium at the Nurburgring,” he said.
"There was almost another one in Portimao, when I felt I had the better of Max Biaggi
in the closing stages, but a technical problem forced me out - but at least I was fighting with him, instead of looking at him from a distance!”
With the championship over, Camier now plans to have an 'ongoing' problem with his right arm examined.
“It's been playing up for some time now and although it's not been a problem when I'm racing, it's not as good as it should be, so now's the best time to see to it properly, away from the race track,” he said.
“It's nothing to do with any crash, just something that's been ongoing a bit this year.”