Top 10 for Camier and Fixi Crescent Suzuki in Spain
Fiixi Crescent Suzuki?s Leon Camier raced to an impressive ninth place in the first race of today?s eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Motorland Aragon in Spain.Camier started from 14th on the grid and got off to a great start to make his way to 10th by the end of the first lap. He was involved in a race-long battle with several other riders that saw the group of them swapping positions as the race progressed. Camier was in 11th as the final lap started, but a two-rider collision in-front of the FIXI Crescent rider on the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki, saw him benefit and bring his machine home for a tough - but deserved - ninth place. In race two Camier again got a good start and was up into 10th place early on. Unfortunately a technical issue with his bike forced him to enter the pits and retire at the end of lap 17. John Hopkins had another frustrating day, after a number of mistakes in his first race at the 5,344m Motorland Aragon circuit cost him valuable places and a mechanical fault also forced him to retire from race two after nearly four-laps. Hopkins got a good start in the first event and by lap four had moved up to 12th place from 21st on the grid. Unfortunately he made a number of mistakes in the closing stages that cost him dearly, before he eventually took the chequered flag in the 15th and final points scoring place. Race two saw him have to exit the track at turn-16 on lap four and call an early end to the day's proceedings. Hopkins was very disappointed with the results, but can take some solace that he was able to complete the weekend, in very difficult conditions, with no after-effects of the injuries that have also hampered his season so far.
Today's races were held in much cooler conditions than have been experienced this weekend. Race one saw track temperatures almost 30° lower than on previous days, with it warming up slightly for the second event. Max Biaggi on an Aprilia took victory in race one to extend his World Championship lead, with Marco Melandri emerging victorious on a BMW in race two.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to the UK, before it heads off across Europe for the ninth round of the season, which is due to be held at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 22nd July.
"The funny thing is that I felt that I was riding really well today. I was all over most of the other riders in the turns and on the brakes, but was losing out on acceleration out of the slow corners. On the back straight, I was losing somewhere between three and five tenths-of-a-second and that's hard to make up in this level of competition.
"The wind was quite strong today and it affected our braking points and it was easy to overshoot the corners - especially the slow hairpin at the end of the back straight. I am really happy with the chassis of my FIXI Crescent Suzuki and I feel that the electronics have improved quite a bit recently. If we can improve the acceleration out of the turns and get a bit more power, I think that our bike is capable of competing with the best."
"On a day like today, it's hard to say much at all. I didn't make a great start in the first race, but managed to settle into some kind of rhythm. As the race wore on, I made a few mistakes and ran off the track a couple of times and at this level, it's so hard to get back into contention. I managed to get into the points, but I felt it should've been better.
"In race two, the bike felt slow, more or less from the start, and then it got worse, so I had to pull in. You get days like today in racing sometimes, but it's never easy to deal with when the problem is not of your own making. I am sure the team will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"You never know what racing is going to throw up. I know we're better than our current results, so it's up to all of us to put in the hard work and get better. We have to improve our qualifying position, so that both riders have a better chance in the races.
"Once Leon got his head down in race one, he was lapping as good as almost anybody and was very consistent. He used a hard tyre to be strong at the end of the race, but it cost him in the early part. He was on course for a solid 11th place, but got gifted 9th when Badovini and Sykes tangled and crashed - the way things are at the moment, I'll take that result! John made a good start in race one, passing Leon after his team-mate made a small mistake in turn one. He was over-riding the bike, trying to make up for the acceleration deficit in the corners, but that wore the tyre out, which caused some mistakes and a drop down the order. Both riders failed to finish the second race because of mechanical problems. That disappoints me and shows us there's a lot of hard work to be done. I'm sure we'll solve the problems and come back stronger."
Aragon - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Race One:
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 39'51.188: 2. Marco Melandri (BMW) 39'51.466: 3. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 40'00.650: 4. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 40'02.015: 5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 40'06.896: 9. LEON CAMIER (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI) 40'32.075: 15. JOHN HOPKINS (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI) 40'40.940:
Aragon - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Race Two:
1. Melandri 39'59.200: 2. Laverty 39'59.242: 3. Davies 39'59.646: 4. Biaggi 39'59.684: 5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) CBR1000RR 40'05.811: DNF. LEON CAMIER (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI): DNF. JOHN HOPKINS (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI):
World Championship Classification:
1. Biaggi 248.5: 2. Melandri 200.5: 3. Rea 183: 4. Checa 175.5: 5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 172.5: 14. LEON CAMIER (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI) 56.5: 21. JOHN HOPKINS (FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI) 11: