Bad luck hits Camier and Yoshimura Suzuki at Suzuka2012-07-30 01:15
FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier saw his hopes of success dashed at the 35th-Anniversary Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Championship third round in Japan as the Yoshimura Suzuki Team he was riding for were plagued with bad luck.
Camier, along with team-mates Josh Waters and Nobuatsu Aoki were the early leaders after qualifying third-fastest. Unfortunately the team lost eight laps when they were forced to make an extra pit stop due to a mystery engine issue with the factory GSX-R1000. The Yoshimura squad then suffered a further, and terminal, setback in the closing stages when the 2011 Suzuka 8-Hour runners-up and six-time event winners were forced to retire after seven hours with the on-going problem.
In a drama-packed event, many of the pre-race challengers were side-lined including Monster Energy Yamaha’s pole-setter Katsuyuki Nakusuga – teamed with British Superbike riders Tommy Hill and Noriyuki Haga – who crashed just 30 minutes into the race. Another crash by Ryuichi Kiyonari after five hours also ended the Musashi RT Harc-Pro team’s bid for the podium. Overall victory in the Suzuka 8-Hour – which also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Suzuka Circuit - went to the FCC TSR Honda team of Jonathan Rea, Kosuke Akiyoshi and Tadayuki Okada, who clocked-up 215 laps
Camier is now on his way back to the UK to resume his World Superbike Championship duties with the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team at the British round of the series at Silverstone this coming weekend, where he and team-mate John Hopkins hope for a great performance in front of the home fans.
“Everyone’s disappointed but that’s endurance racing. It’s just one of those things - It’s like short-sprint racing but for eight hours. I’ve got to say Josh has done an amazing job all weekend, through testing and qualifying and he’s just been so fast. I had a bit of a problem as I didn’t feel comfortable on my Superpole lap. We’d changed something on the bike and wanted to try it, but it gave us a lot of chatter. It was a one-off to see if it worked, but I didn’t feel comfortable.
“I had big crash on the first day and didn’t feel confident after that, but in the race I felt really good and was getting more-and-more confident as the race went on. I caught and passed Akiyoshi at one stage, then he got me back on the next lap because I pitted.
“I didn’t realise the yellow flag incident and thought it was a different situation, but I did what I had to do, slowed down; and let him pass me back, but unfortunately we got penalised. The thing is, once you come down pit lane and then zoom back out, you’ve lost far more than 30 seconds. It’s difficult to say if we had the pace to win or not, but we would have definitely been an easy second, but we can’t count that now – it’s the way it goes. I can honestly say that the team and everyone has done an awesome job to get the bike sorted for us so a big thanks to everyone; and if I get the opportunity, I’d definitely love to do it again if it fits in with my race schedule.”
Suzuka 8-Hour results:
1. FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 215 laps: 2. TOHO Racing with Moriwaki (Honda) 211: 3. Yamaha France GMT94 (Yamaha) 211: 4. Moto Map SUPPLY (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 210: 5. Honda Suzuka Racing Team (Honda) 210: DNF: YOSHIMURA SUZUKI:
Source: Crescent Motorcycle
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