Camier Fifth In Second Race In Russia

/ August 27, 2012
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Leon Camier scored a fifth placed finish in the second race in Russia, the first time the World Superbike series has visited the country.

Camier suffered a hip injury after running over Loris Baz’ stricken machine earlier in the weekend, and qualified in 18th place.

And in race one things didn’t improve much, after a tyre gamble didn’t pay off, and after heading out on wets, Camier had to come in and changed to slicks, when the rain he anticipated didn’t arrive.

In race two though, he came through the pack after making a good start, and ending the first lap in 13th. He kept plugging away, matching the lap times of the leaders, and eventually took the chequered flag in fifth.

Camier said, “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.

“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.”

John Hopkins raced to his best World Superbike result for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team when he brought his machine home in ninth place in race one.

Race two saw Hopkins again in the points as he finished in 12th to record his best haul of points in a weekend this year, from his injury affected season.

Hopkins said, “It was a kind of frustrating day for me and it should’ve been much better. I started race one on slicks and probably rode a bit too timidly in the early stages and lost ground.

“Halfway through, I got stuck in a bit of a group and when the track dried out, it got dirty and caused a loss of grip. I kept the FIXI Crescent Suzuki upright and brought it home, which makes me reasonably happy.

“I was looking forward to race two, but unfortunately suffered with the same tyre issues that have bugged us all weekend.

“The bike was chattering a lot and I could only ride it at a certain level, which meant I couldn’t finish any higher than 12th.”

Team Manager Jack Valentine added, “It was always going to be a difficult day and it wasn’t helped by the slightly wet conditions at the start of the first race.

“Leon began on wets, but had to pit and change to slicks when the track began to dry and ended 15th. John started on slicks and rode steadily throughout the race and finished ninth.

“Fortunately the conditions were perfect for race two. Leon made a good start and began picking up places straightaway.

“His race pace was very good and he was doing equivalent times to the leaders. He kept his head down and finished a strong fifth, which is a tremendous result considering that he started from 18th place on the grid.

“Chattering on John’s bike hampered his progress in race two, but he kept at it and managed to finish 12th.

“Today was Leon’s second best result of the season but, considering his injury and his 18th place on the grid, I think it is an even better ride than his fourth place at Donington earlier in the year.”