Cluzel Impressive On Laguna Debut

/ September 30, 2013
Cluzel, U.S. WSBK, Race 1, 2013.

Jules Cluzel finished in sixth and seventh place at Laguna Seca over the weekend, as the World Superbike rookie impressed on his debut at the challenging California circuit.

The premier production-based series’ return to the famous circuit saw a change in format for riders and teams, with race one taking place on Saturday, with the second race held on Sunday.

Cluzel eventually took seventh in race one, after two previous attempts to run the race we stopped due to red flags when a crashed bike punctured the air safety fence surrounding the track.

At the third attempt to run the race, Cluzel started from eighth on the grid and moved up into seventh early on, but could not bridge the gap to the leaders. It was a lonely ride the flag in the end.

In race two Cluzel made a better start and was on the leaders’ pace, setting the fastest lap of the race at one point on lap four. Cluzel remained in contention but eventually dropped back and took sixth place at the chequered flag.

He said afterward, “I lost maybe two seconds in the first two laps of the first race, maybe more, and I couldn’t catch the first group, but I didn’t lose any more time to the guys that were in front of me, I could still see them, so I was happy with that.

“[In race two] I made a good start and a good first lap so I was able to catch up with the leader group and I was very happy about that. I enjoyed the first part of the race because I was one of the fastest guys out there; it was only the last corner to the first turn, across the start-finish line, that I was losing any time.

“This stopped me getting a good chance to fight for a podium, but it was still a good race and I think this has been my best weekend on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki so far this season. Laguna Seca is not an easy circuit, but I learned quite quickly and I really enjoyed it.”

Paul Denning, Team Manager, said,”If we forget Silverstone, I think today was Jules’s best race of the year, based on his lack of circuit knowledge, the fact that it is a very physical track; and that we expected the nature of the track not to suit our bike especially well.”

American Blake Young, standing in for the injured Leon Camier, scored a pair of 12th placed finishes from both races on his first rides on the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike.