Leon Camier declared himself 'really happy' with his first race performance of 2016 as he finished seventh and just over ten seconds of the race winner after a race-long scrap with Jordi Torres.
Having tweaked his MV Agusta 1000 F4's chassis to his liking, Camier used the machine's sweet handling through Phillip Island's numerous fast changes of direction to maintain a solid pace throughout the 22-laps after a less-than-successful start.
The Englishman was just 15th at the close of lap one but soon worked his way up the order, making inroads inside the top ten past the half-way mark. Although down on power, Camier found the MV working consistently well as the laps whittled down to maintain his pace in the low 1m 32s until the flag.
“I came from 17th in turn one,” explained Camier. “We had a really terrible start. As soon as the race settled I was able to pick a load of people off. I passed two into one corner into MG. I just launched [past] on and say another one and thought, 'They're having it as well!'
“We got the chassis working really good. We worked really hard on specifics with the chassis. We're just lacking some power but this sort of track isn't so bad for us with its flowing nature. We can make it look a little better. We had a lot of dramas in the test so we had to kill the power in the race to try and save what we've got left. We're really happy with the race performance.
“We've really got a good understanding of how the tyres are going to be the whole way through the race. I feel I have as well, knowing what the bike needs to be on one lap and until the end of the race. It makes a massive difference, knowing how it's going to behave at the end. You can try and adjust the bike ready for that situation. We just need to keep working on power.”
On his consistency, which saw Camier lap within 0.008s of his fastest race lap on the 20th circulation, he added that he feels he could run with the leading pack, should he start better on Sunday.
“I'd like to think that if we could start with the front guys we could hang on in there. They really put some good laps in at the end and if I could use their slipstream I'd like to think we could be somewhere near. I don't think we could beat them or really race them too much because as soon as we hit the straight they all come past me.
“I had the same with [Jordi] Torres and [Markus] Reiterberger. I'm trying to understand how I can shake them off around the lap to then stay in front of them down the straights. We caught Nicky Hayden up and as soon as I passed him I put in a really strong lap to try and break Torres. When I did that he couldn't stay with me in the corners.
“After I passed everyone we had Reiterberger for a bit. He hung in there. Then he dropped off and it was just me and Torres. We must have passed each other ten or fifteen times. It was really good racing.”