FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier finished the first day of the team’s World Superbike test at Phillip Island on an encouraging note as he unofficially posted the second fastest time around the newly resurfaced fast Australian circuit.
Camier made consistent and fast progress throughout the day after escaping unhurt from a huge high-side in the morning. His crew quickly repaired the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 to enable him to get back on the circuit and make the most of the available track-time and Camier certainly did that as he posted ever-improving lap times, with his best coming at the end of a race-long run. As the first day’s testing drew to a close, the Englishman was riding at a high pace and looking smooth around the Phillip Island circuit.
Jules Cluzel posted some competitive times to give him seventh place on the ‘unofficial’ time-sheets, on only his third outing on a Superbike. Cluzel was also the victim of an unexpected crash early on and although the Frenchman walked away uninjured from the high-speed incident, his machine suffered substantial damage causing him to lose a large part of the day as his team had to rebuild the bike from the ground up. Cluzel’s confidence and style continued to improve throughout the rest of the day, but unfortunately the Frenchman suffered another fast crash at the same corner and had to have medical assistance to a large cut on his elbow. He will have further treatment this evening, but it appears unlikely that he will be able to participate in tomorrow’s proceedings.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will have a second full-day of testing tomorrow as it prepares for next week’s timed ‘Official Test’ and the forthcoming season premiere of the 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship scheduled for Sunday February 24th.
“Today ended up pretty good considering the crash in the morning, and we ended up second quickest which was good. There is still room for improvement in the bike – nothing massive – and I also feel that I can improve as well and the feeling with the setting could be better. I think it will get harder and harder from here because the track will get better and everyone will push more. I don’t really know why I crashed because the track felt good and it was nice and smooth with the new surface – in fact it was quite confidence inspiring. I was on an in-lap and as I turned into the second-last corner in quite a positive way – but slower than previously – the bike just came round on me and off I went. I was really shocked, as I didn’t expect it and I was suddenly very high in the air – I thought it was going to hurt when I was up there – luckily I didn’t hurt myself other than bashing my elbow and ankle. For the rest of the day I had more respect for the track and I just let it come to me. The surface improved as the day went on, not with grip really but tyre durability. We ended up going pretty quick, which was good and now we have to work on race-pace and concentrate on the race weekend.”
“I had a really good feeling on my first time here on a Superbike, but I had a big crash in turn 11 – it was so big I think it should now be ‘Cluzel Corner’! I lost the rear really quickly and it took me by surprise, because I don’t really know what happened. The guys repaired the bike quickly because it was very damaged and they made sure I could ride at the end. I then had a second crash in the same place and I cannot say anything about it. It was also very surprising and although it was a less aggressive crash it opened the cut on my elbow. The feeling on the bike was really nice though and the GSX-R is easy to ride. After the first crash I had some good lap-times and I paid more attention to the track and so I was really confused why I crashed in the same place. I need to understand why this happened, maybe it is a certain style that I need to learn to ride the Superbike and especially in this corner – I don’t know yet!”