Team Suzuki Press Office – February 21.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki is looking in good shape as it gears up to the first round of this season’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in Australia this weekend.

Following a pair of successful pre-event tests at the 4,445m circuit, Leon Camier is eager to get into the racing arena and put all the positive improvements the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has made this winter to good use in a competitive environment. Camier looked sharp during the four days of testing over the last week, leading the field on two of the days and finishing second on another. He will be looking to continue with his good run of form on the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 as he aims to start the season in style.

New signing Jules Cluzel will be making his racing debut for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team after his step-up from the 600cc class in the winter. Cluzel has had a baptism of fire to the Superbike class, including being injured last week in the test and requiring a small operation to repair the damage to his left elbow. The Frenchman is now fully fit and keen to get into the action of the one-litre class of racing. His test performances have shown that he has plenty of raw speed and a motivation to succeed at the highest level, and he will certainly be a rider to watch as the season progresses.

The Philip Island track is one of the fastest circuits in the world and possibly the most picturesque. Situated in the state of Victoria approximately 130km/s south-east of Melbourne, its amazing position perched high on the cliff tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean is breath taking. This stunning backdrop, allied with a superb series of turns that the track offers - and an ultra-fast straight which gives the riders the perception they are heading out to sea - makes any race at Phillip Island a must-see event on any calendar and one that the racers enjoy as much as the spectators.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki takes to the track for the first free practice session on Friday morning, with the first qualifying practice scheduled for later in the afternoon. Race one of the season will take place at 12.00hrs local time (01.00hrs GMT), with race two planned to get underway at 15.30hrs local time (04.30hrs GMT).

Leon Camier:

“I am looking forward to the first races, but I’m sure that it will be harder than it has been in testing. Once the pressure of a race weekend is on it makes a difference to everything, so it should be interesting. Hopefully everything will feel as it did during the tests, but with this track everything can change quite quickly. We’ve had four different wind directions in four days and it makes a big difference to the bike setting - we’ve needed to change gearing, suspension and many other things to make the bike work on the different days. The lap-times are always similar, but we have to swap it around a lot to get that result. We now have to see what the weekend brings us and hopefully we can have a steady time and get some decent results. The most important thing is to finish as close to the front as we possibly can, so that is the first target.”

Jules Cluzel:

“I am excited about my first time in Supebike, because race weekend is really different compared to the tests. For me I think we can do something good at the first event, but I still have to learn a lot for the two long races. It will be a really different approach because I’m not used to doing two races, but I am excited because it looks like the team can achieve good things with Leon and I hope I can also get some good points. I am learning more and more about the bike every time I ride it and my feeling becomes better with every lap. It will be difficult because there are many good riders, but I will be trying to get some good results and gain more knowledge about how to ride the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Superbike.”

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