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ROOKIE CLUZEL TOP-9 AT DONINGTON WSB
Team Suzuki Press Office - May 26.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki had an afternoon of solid performances and misfortune during today's two races in the fifth round of the 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship that was staged at Donington Park in England.
Jules Cluzel continued with his impressive rookie season in the Superbike class by taking two ninth places in today's double-header. Cluzel's two races were almost a mirror image of each other, as the Frenchman got a good start from 11th on the grid and made up two places on the first lap in both events. In race one he got involved in various battles with other riders before settling into a smooth rhythm for the remainder of the race. He was pursued for much of the 23-lap race by former World Champion Carlos Checa, but the FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider kept a consistent pace and managed to hold off the Spaniard. In race two Cluzel pushed harder as the race wore on and learnt a lot more of how the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R performs at the end of a race on used tyres. He was pleased with the result and believes he can use the data he gathered in the second race to make improvements in the next events.
Leon Camier had an afternoon he would like to forget. He started from fifth on the grid, but a mistake on lap-one in the first race saw him run off the track and get relegated to 15th place. He immediately set about chasing the pack down so that the lead group wouldn't get away, but his eagerness proved his undoing as he crashed heavily on the last corner on lap three and saw any hope disappear as the bike cartwheeled away from him. Camier picked himself up unhurt and made his way back to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki garage on foot. In race two he got a better start and was running in contention with the leaders, but he again hit the deck in the last corner and slid onto the grass. This time, he was able to remount and continue his chase. He was 10-seconds behind the next rider in the field when he rejoined the race, but the Englishman caught and passed a number of riders to move up to 13th place at the chequered flag.
Today's races were held in beautiful sunshine with track temperatures reaching 40°C and the home crowd were treated to victories for British riders in both the Superbike and Supersport classes as Tom Sykes took both victories in the Superbike class and Sam Lowes secured victory in the 600cc category.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to base in Verwood before heading to Portugal for the next round of the championship at Portimao on Sunday June 9th.
"I am happy with the second race because we finished in the top-10 and I felt some things that we can use which will help us improve at the next couple of races. At the end of the race I was able to push a bit harder and this is good for me. If I push too hard in the first few laps I make mistakes, so I am now trying to ride like I did in Aragon and wait a bit and build up my performance. When I feel I am ready to start pushing from the first lap I will do that, but at this moment I need to wait a bit. I was happy that I ended the race with my lap-time quite close to my best lap and I feel that we can now do some good things soon."
"I had a bad start and was a bit too aggressive in the first race, even though I felt ok on the bike. I was trying to get past Canepa, but in the slower corners I was struggling a bit to get the bike pulled-up. I knew this, but I was desperate to get past him because I could see the front group going away, so it was my mistake and I ran off. Then I was pushing really hard to come back through the field and crashed. I was frustrated in race two because I felt like I didn't have the best grip and the BMWs got past me, so I pushed hard but got caught out at Goddards. The front went from underneath me, I don't really know why it happened, but I couldn't do much about it. I picked the bike up and tried my hardest to come back, but the main pack was too far away to catch them. I will now have to put this behind me and try and do my best at Portimao in a couple of week's time."
- Team Manager:
"I think Jules did a very solid job today and Donington is one of the most difficult tracks to tame a Superbike and get the best out of it, but Jules rode two very measured races and fought with some high-quality riders to secure his two ninth place finishes. He's not missing a lot of lap-time to get into the next group and as the team and Jules gain more experience together of what he needs to go fast, I'm sure the next races will allow us to take a step forward in performance.
"I feel bad for Leon today, but to be honest I feel worse for the team and all our partners that joined us here today. Starting from the middle of the second row, and with the race-pace Leon has had all weekend, should have seen us fighting for the podium in both races, but we didn't come anywhere near that potential. It is unusual for Leon to over-ride to get to where he wants to be, but unfortunately that was the case in the first race and we are just relieved it didn't result in an injury. The second race was a typical 'Goddards - don't know why that happened - crash' and I was pleased he could pick the bike up and run strong lap-times for the rest of the race to get back into the points.
"Overall race-day hasn't delivered what FIXI Crescent Suzuki wanted here at Donington, but we will be drawing the positives from the weekend in terms of performance potential and making sure we get the details right in Portugal."
Donington Park - eni FIM Superbike - Race One
: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 34'10.881: 2. Marco Melandri (BMW) +2.379: 3. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +3.808: 4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) +6.760: 5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +13.649.
9. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +27.739
DNF: Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
Donington Park - eni FIM Superbike - Race Two:
1. Sykes 34'06.921: 2. Guintoli +8.035: 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +10.738: 4. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) +12.257: 5. Melandri +15.976.
9. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +30.501
13. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) + 54.509.
: 1. Guintoli 173: 2. Sykes 169: 3. Laverty 149: 4. Melandri 127: 5. Chaz Davies (BMW) 112:
10. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 55
11. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 49.
Donington WSB Image Gallery
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