British rider Leon Camier is primed to break the shackles of mediocrity at Phillip Island during the opening round of the 2013 Superbike World Championship from tomorrow.
The two-time British road racing champion has never produced his best work around the 4.445km prix circuit in WSBK competition, with only one top 10 finish in six races. However, with his Suzuki now significantly more powerful than last year’s version he’s confident of being amongst the leaders this weekend.
“The team hasn’t made massive changes to the bike, but it’s been refined a lot,” said the 25-year-old.
“Everything is working very well, engine performance has improved, and we’ve made some big improvements in electronics.
“For sure, we still have to work a lot harder to be consistently at the front, but until the season gets underway it will be difficult to know where we are at.”
Along with the other WSBK top runners, Camier completed four days of testing on the resurfaced Philip Island circuit over the last week, and his turn of speed was evident when he was third overall on the timesheets behind Ducati rider Carlos Checa and BMW’s Marco Melandri. However, it wasn’t all smooth running after he crashed twice at high-speed.
“I am a bit bashed and bruised,” said Camier. “It’s a new tarmac, but it still hurts!”
Suzuki’s had a barren run of late: its last Phillip Island WSBK win was in 2010, and its sole championship was courtesy of Australia’s Troy Corser in 2005.
The Phillip Island WSBK field will include factory teams from Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW, Ducati, Aprilia and Honda, fielding riders who have won 65 races between them.