FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier is to join Suzuki Factory Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki and Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters for the 35th Anniversary Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan next month as part of the Yoshimura Suzuki team.
Camier was recently asked in America by Yoshimura President, Fujio Yoshimura to join the Japanese team and was given permission by FIXI Crescent Suzuki to race at the third round of the World Endurance series. This historic event will take place on Sunday 29th July at the 5,864m Suzuka circuit and, as the name suggests, it is an eight-hour long endurance race where the riders alternate every 50 minutes for the whole duration of the event in an attempt to complete the most laps. The Suzuka circuit is one of the only tracks to have a ‘figure-8’ layout, where the back straight passes over the front section by means of an overpass and is a very difficult and demanding track for riders and machines alike.
Camier will next be in action for FIXI Crescent Suzuki in the World Superbike Championship at Misano this weekend, followed by races at Aragon and Brno in July, before he takes a break from his usual duties to join the Yoshimura Suzuki team. This year’s Suzuka 8-hour will not only see the 35th anniversary of the race, but the Yoshimura Suzuki team also celebrates its 35th appearance at the event – the only team to have completed in every staging of the race – and with its three-pronged attack of Camier, Aoki and Waters, Yoshimura Suzuki will be aiming for its fifth victory.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be racing in the Suzuka 8-hour this year and honoured that Yoshimura have asked me to take part in such a prestigious race. I have done the Suzuka 8-Hour race three times before (in 2005, 2006 and 2007), but have never been particularly successful there, so I am hoping that this year will see a change of luck.
“It’s an amazing race and probably the hardest – both physically and mentally – that a racer does The temperatures are usually very hot and the track is so physical, it just saps all your energy. It is a hard track to learn because it is so long and it is also technically very demanding. I will have to learn how to ride the Yoshimura GSX-R on different tyres, but hopefully that will not be too much of a problem and I can run consistent lap-times. My goal is to get to grips with the tyres as soon as I can, keep up a good pace and still be fast at the end of the race.
“I would like to thank FIXI Crescent Suzuki for allowing me to take part in the race and hope I can reward them all with a good result.”
Jack Valentine – Team Manager:
“All of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki are happy to give Leon the opportunity to take part in such a famous race as the Suzuka 8-Hour. Our engine partners Yoshimura have been working hard all year to provide us with good material, so it’s nice that we can give them something back. Leon has been to Suzuka before and, although it’s one of the toughest races, I’m sure he’ll do us all proud.”
Fujio Yoshimura – Yoshimura President:
“I first saw Leon race in Suzuka many years ago and I was impressed with his performance. This year, we’ve been working a lot with FIXI Crescent Suzuki and have learnt a lot more about Leon. We decided to ask him to race for us in the Suzuka 8-hour race because we think he will do well for us, though I am a bit curious to see how he will adapt to the different tyres. For Yoshimura, the Suzuka 8-Hour is always a very special event and we think our team of Leon, Nobu Aoki and Josh Waters have a good chance of success.”