Leon Camier has won the 2009 MCE British Superbike Championship with a late victory in the opening race of Sunday's penultimate round at Silverstone.

The 23-year-old needed to score just half a point more than Airwaves Yamaha team-mate James Ellison to wrap up the title with four races still to go, but had to work hard after dropping from pole to fifth on lap one.

Ellison, who had lined-up alongside Camier on the grid, sat an early third behind fast-starting Stuart Easton and fellow Honda rider Josh Brookes, but made his intentions to delay Camier's title celebrations clear by barging past both Brookes and Easton to lead by the end of the opening lap.

Camier made more careful progress, finishing lap one in fourth place before out-braking Brookes for third at the end of the back straight on lap three. Easton then handed Camier second when he ran wide at the same pace one lap later, leaving Camier with a 1.2sec gap to Ellison and 16 laps to go.

Ellison put up stubborn resistance and remained just out of reach of Camier as the halfway mark came and went, but Camier then began to pull tenths out of Ellison's advantage and was ready to attack with 6 laps left.

Camier's first attempt at the lead came under brakes into the Abbey turn at the end of the back straight, but he ran wide - allowing Ellison to slice back underneath him.

Camier then repeated the move two laps later, and again ran wide.

The penultimate lap began with Ellison still ahead - but Camier changed tact, running around the outside through Bridge and then diving for a surprise inside pass into the following Priory left-hander.

The move worked and Camier went on to win the race, and title, by 0.244sec. The young Englishman punched the air with delight as he crossed the line before pulling a series of wheelies and burn-outs for the fans.

As Camier returned to the stadium section at the end of the lap he was greeted by members of his team, who placed a #1 on his bike, before being met by former BSB champion Niall Mackenzie on the entry to pit lane.

The Scot, the last person prior to Camier to win the BSB title on a Yamaha, was dressed in his full 1998 Cadbury's Boost race attire and took the controls of Camier's R1 while the new champion waved to the crowd behind him!

Camier has now won 17 of the 22 races so far and taken 18 podiums. A further victory was taken from him when he was disqualified from race two at Cadwell Park, after comfortably winning on track, due to smoke emitting from his bike. That DSQ marks his only non-score of the season.

2009 is Camier's third season in BSB and second with GSE Racing. This year is GSE's first with Yamaha and last with title sponsor Airwaves.

The only other riders to win BSB races this season are Ellison (3), Worx Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli (1) and Hydrex Honda's Easton (1).

With the title now officially gone, Ellison will turn his full attention to securing the runner-up position, which he currently holds by an extended 39 points over Easton.

Having been passed by both Airwaves riders early in the race, Easton lost third place to Brookes when the Australian launched a brave move through Maggots on lap 8. Rookie Brookes went on to claim his eighth podium of the season for HM Plant Honda by crossing the line 8.8sec behind Camier and just 0.3sec ahead of Easton.

Tommy Hill made it two Hydrex Hondas in the top five by just holding off John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) and Guintoli for fifth position, while Relentless Suzuki's Ian Lowry kept the MSS Kawasakis of Simon Andrews and Julien da Costa at bay for eighth.

Tommy Bridewell took the BSB Cup race win with twelfth, 3.5sec ahead of the returning Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda).

Michael Rutter's comeback on a Ducati ended with a technical problem on lap 4, while Chris Walker also failed to finish. Karl Harris suffered a terminal mechanical problem before the start.

Alastair Seeley, running a bike very similar to the new 2010 'Evo' spec - Superbike chassis, Superstock engine, standard ECU - spent much of the race battling with Cup champion Gary Mason, before pulling into the pits with a lap to go.