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Tough task ahead for Fixi Crescent Suzuki
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 19:07|
FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers Leon Camier and John Hopkins have a challenging day ahead of them tomorrow after the pair qualified on the fourth and sixth rows respectively for the eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Aragon in Spain.
Camier (P14, 1'58.660) narrowly lost out on a higher grid position as he just missed out on the cut for the second Superpole session this afternoon. He will be looking to get away well from the grid at the 5,344m Spanish circuit on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki and battle with the riders ahead of him early on. Camier is in a positive frame of mind and convinced that a good result is possible in tomorrow's races.
Hopkins (P21, 2'00,245) was again hit by the bad luck that has seemed to follow him around this season. He was forced to abort this morning's second qualifying session early with a mechanical issue - and due to the one bike rule he was unable to continue in the rest of the proceedings - and had to sit and watch, rather than attempt to improve on his time and secure a place in Superpole. Hopkins was able to take part in the second free practice later today and recorded the 13th quickest time, which indicates he will be able to run further up the pack on race-day.
Today's qualifying was again held in very warm conditions with track temperatures just slightly lower than yesterday's as it peaked at 58°C. Kawasaki's Tom Sykes will start from pole position after taking his sixth Superpole from eight attempts so far this year. Current Championship leader Max Biaggi will start from second on the grid with Eugene Laverty and Leon Haslam making up the rest of the front row.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will line up for the first race from Motorland Aragon at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST) tomorrow, and with cooler temperatures forecast, this could help Camier and especially Hopkins, with more grip to allow them to brake later into turns and pick up places as the race progresses.
"The qualifying tyre we used in Superpole 1 caused a little front end chatter and so I took it steadily - maybe too steadily! If I had been less cautious, I might have got into Superpole 2, but I pushed as hard as I could. I'm pretty happy with our set-up, but I think that we can improve the settings on my GSX-R and that will give us a chance of being more competitive. At the moment, I can catch most people on the entry to the corners, but I can't keep up with them on the exits and that is a bit frustrating. I'll be doing everything I can to get a couple of good starts tomorrow and get into the mix right from the start."
"My bike had engine issues in this morning's qualifying session and because of this year's one bike rule I had to sit out the second part of the session after only having done a few laps. It was a shame because the conditions were a bit cooler than yesterday and it would've been the ideal time to go quicker. In the afternoon untimed session we made a couple of changes to the bike's set-up and I managed to go faster than I had been all weekend. My start position tomorrow is pretty horrible, but I am strong in the first couple of sectors, so I hope to make up a lot of ground before we get to the long back straight. If I can do that, then I am positive I can get a couple of decent results."
Jack Valentine -Team Manager:
"John had a technical issue this morning and his lap times before the problem weren't good enough to get into Superpole. Leon managed to get into Superpole quite easily and the plan was to run with a qualifier immediately in Superpole 1 to guarantee at least a third row on the grid, but Leon wasn't able to get the best of the tyre and finished the session on a soft race tyre - just missing out by the narrowest of margins. The competition is so hard that the smallest fractions-of-a-second can mean the difference between success and failure. We have a lot of technical expertise in the team and all of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki will keep working to improve our overall performance. We need to do that first and then I am sure that the results will follow. Both our riders have good race pace and hopefully they will make good starts. It's going to be a long, hot, hard day, but I think we can leave Aragon with some good, solid results."
Aragon - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Superpole: 1 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'56.552: 2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1'57.260: 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1'57.592: 4. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1'57.710: 5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1'57.784. 14. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1'58.660. 21. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 2'00.245.
Article source: Suzuki Racing