Suzuki’s Leon Camier just misses Miller World Superbike Top-10

Team Suzuki News Release

FIXI Crescent Suzuki racer Leon Camier narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish in today’s second race of the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship from Miller Motorsports Park in America.

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After a lengthy delay to clean the circuit, the race was re-started with the riders in the positions where the initial race was stopped. – meaning Camier started from row three in 11th place.

He again got a good start and pushed his way into the top-10, before getting involved in a long battle with Sylvain Guintoli.

Camier eventually had to settle for 11th, finishing just over 15 seconds behind the race-winner – a positive performance considering his initial grid position of 20th.

Camier had a good start in race one as well, but got involved in a mid-field battle that eventually saw him bring his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R home in 13th.

John Hopkins had a torrid race-day on his return to the team from injury. He crashed out of race one after his FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R hit a kerb and slid from underneath him, fortunately he walked away uninjured. In race two Hopkins suffered with a technical issue that caused him to lose power. He battled all the way to the line to try and secure a points-scoring position, before eventually bringing his machine home safely in 16th. He was disappointed with the results, but pleased to have completed such an exhausting race with no ill-effects from his recent injuries and confident of making big steps when the championship returns to Europe.

Today’s races were held in bright and sunny conditions with air temperatures pushing up to 20°C. Current World Champion Carlos Checa won the first race on a Ducati, with Marco Melandri taking victory in the second on a BMW. Max Biaggi on an Aprilia strengthened his position at the head of the riders’ Championship by taking third place in both races.

Suzuki’s Leon Camier just misses Miller World Superbike Top-10

Two Good Points Scores Keep Sykes Close To World Superbike Lead

WSBK, Miller Motorsport Park, USA, 29 May 2012

Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes scored eighth and fifth place finishes today in the USA and in doing so went equal second in the table. His team-mate Loris Baz was also in the points twice.

Having qualified third on the grid, despite struggling for a time to match his usual practice excellence at a circuit that proved challenging for man and machine, Sykes was unable to overcome a less than ideal race set-up in the first race, which went to a full 21-lap distance.

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Race two was started then stopped after three laps when another rider’s machine hit the kerbstones and in the resultant crash spilt significant quantities of oil on the track surface, causing a long delay to the eventual 18-lap restart.

Tom was second off the grid for that race but he was forced back to fifth and had to battle hard to the end with Eugene Laverty to keep his fifth place.

Loris Baz, being eased into his relatively new role as replacement rider for the injured Joan Lascorz, rode sensibly to take a point for 15th in race one and go one place better in race two. He had been 17th in qualifying.

In the championship Max Biaggi leads with 160.5 points, Marco Melandri and Sykes share 142.5 and Baz’s three points in America put him 20th in the rankings, with 11 points in total.

Two Good Points Scores Keep Sykes Close To World Superbike Lead

World Superbike 2012, the Miller Motorsports Grand Prix

WSBK 2012, the Miller Motorsport GP Aprilia Highlights


Tooele (Utah), 28 May 2012 – The United States was the venue for yet another great World Superbike race. Two spectacular races, especially for the lead pack, which the Aprilia Racing Team left with good spoils thanks to Max Biaggi’s double podium.

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As the laps went by, Max took advantage of his pace, gaining ground toward the podium. Even the suspension after three laps in Race 2 (due to oil left on the track by Aoyama’s bike) was not enough to compromise Max’s concentration, still ranking leader in the championship with an 18 point advantage over the nearest contender. However, overtaking cost Biaggi precious tenths of seconds, preventing him from battling for the win.

“Two good races – commented Max Biaggi – even if the hectic initial phases made us lose a lot of ground. I was able to recover well and make it to the third step of the podium, but unfortunately overtaking and battling for positions means that you can’t lap the way you could on an open track.

We are leaving the United States ahead in the standings, but the last few races have shown how BMW and Honda have been improving. We need to improve our bike as well, because our rivals’ progress is clear”.

The sun at Miller Motorsports Park created some unexpected difficulties for Eugene Laverty, who appeared competitive during the practice sessions in lower temperatures.

The rider from Toomebridge was unable to find the right feeling straight away in the new track conditions and had to settle for crossing under the chequered flag in fifth and sixth place.

Eugene does not hide his disappointment: “It was not a good day for me. To be honest my expectations were much higher. After the test session all the conditions were there to aim for the podium. Unfortunately in the higher temperatures I wasn’t able to find the right feeling with my RSV4, which is not an uncommon problem when you’re riding a new bike. In any case, points are important, especially since I’m continuing to learn and this will be helpful for the races to come”.

Carlos Checa triumphs once more at 2012 Miller World Superbike

A spectacular race day for team Althea Racing and the World Superbike fans at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, which saw Carlos Checa dominate in race one, winning with an advantage of more than two seconds.

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Giugliano had a less fortunate first race. He lost ground in the first laps, citing a lack of grip at the rear. At the end of the first lap he was down in tenth place.

Unfortunately he lost a couple more positions on the next lap and then had to work hard to catch up from 13th position. Once past Berger and Badovini, he gave chase to Haslam and on lap eighteen he was able to get round him too, thus closing this first race in final eleventh position.

Race 2 – This time both Althea riders made a good start and by lap two Carlos was already in front, having passed both Melandri and Sykes, while Davide was in fifth position. Unfortunately a red flag stopped the race on the next lap, after Aoyama crashed, leaving oil on the track. The race was restarted, with 18 laps to run, an hour later.

This time Carlos was almost immediately in first position, with Davide behind him in fifth. On the second lap the Spanish rider recorded the fastest lap of the race but, pushing to the limit, he unfortunately crashed out on the fifth lap when he lost the front. After a brief pitstop Carlos returned to the track but had lost too much ground; on lap thirteen his team called him back to the garage. Giugliano, now racing with a softer tyre with respect to race 1, battled first with Rea and then with Haslam, closing in seventh place and taking some important points. His was the first Ducati across the line in this second race.

Carlos Checa triumphs once more at 2012 Miller World Superbike

Melandri top BMW rider at Miller World Superbike Superpole qualify

BMW Motorrad Motorsport’s Marco Melandri was the best BMW rider during Superpole qualifying at Miller Motorsport Park circuit in Utah where the latest round of this year’s World Superbike Championship is taking palce. The Donington Park race winner was ninth fastest after two Superpole sessions and will head the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s WSBK races.

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Tyre grip issues and mixed weather conditions seemed to affect all the BMW S 1000 RR riders today, with BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK team rider Ayrton Badovini failing to make the top 16, leaving his team-mate Michel Fabrizio and the two BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders to contest Superpole.

A cold but bright day close to Salt Lake City greeted the riders for the traditional 3pm start of Superpole.

With an air temperature of only 14 degrees, getting heat into the tyres was vital, but Leon Haslam had more serious issues to deal with, losing a significant amount of the session nursing his RR back to the pits after suffering a puncture in SP 1.

Unfortunately this limited the time he could spend on track and the British rider was unable to secure a qualifying time fast enough for SP2, eventually finishing in 13th place, which means he will head the fourth row of the grid tomorrow.

Having finished SP1 seventh fastest, Melandri was one of the remaining 12 riders all vying for a spot in SP3 and a place on the front two rows of the starting grid. As riders targeted fast laps on qualifier tyres, it was clear that grip was an issue, with most bikes visibly sliding around in the cool conditions. In the end, it was four-times Miller Motorsport race winner Carlos Checa who was the only rider able to dip into the 1:47 bracket in the closing stages of the session. Marco’s time of 1:48.422 was good enough for ninth, so he will start from this position in tomorrow’s two races, just in front of compatriot Michel Fabrizio on the BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet SBK team RR.

Melandri top BMW rider at Miller World Superbike Superpole qualify

Front Row Start For Sykes At Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike

WSBK, Miller Motorsport Park, USA, 27 May 2012

Tom Sykes and his Kawasaki Racing Team crew overcame some early set-up issues at Miller Motorsports Park to take a front row start in third place after Superpole. Young rider Loris Baz qualified 17th.

world superbike, world superbike racing, superbike racing, miller world superbike, 2012 miller world superbike, 2012 world superbike, kawasaki, tom sykesSykes had taken four pole positions in 2012 prior to Miller World Superbike but did not look set to secure a fifth after he found difficulties in some sectors at what is a unique circuit on the calendar, where some blind turns are initiated with a partially open throttle.

With one main practice session undertaken in wet conditions and a track surface which appears to be bumpier and less consistent than last year, Sykes and his team made a late change to his Ninja ZX-10R’s chassis set-up and he found an immediate improvement in pace, which they carried all the way through the three Superpole sessions, heading up all but two of his 23 rivals at this particular event.

Tom hopes to be able to translate that qualifying improvement into a race set-up for Monday’s two 21-lap World Superbike events and add to his current podium tally of six, which includes a race win at Monza.

Loris Baz found his first experience of riding on the 4.907km circuit near Salt Lake City an enjoyable and exciting one and he came close to qualifying inside the top 16 and progressing in Superpole. He starts 17th on the grid and will look for improvements at certain points of the circuit before facing his two SBK races on Monday.

David Salom and Leandro Mercado, from the Team Perdercini Kawasaki squad, qualified 19th and 22nd respectively.

Front Row Start For Sykes At Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike

Leon Camier close to 2012 Miller World Superbike Provisional Pole

Team Suzuki Press Release

FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier made steady and impressive progress during the first qualifying session for the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in America today.

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He improved consistently throughout the 45-minute qualifying session as he constantly made steps with his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.

John Hopkins is making a welcome return to the team this weekend after missing the last event due to injury.

He made a solid start today as he began a steep learning curve to understand the circuit on his first visit to Miller Park, as well as pushing to get race-fit for this weekend’s races.

Hopkins finished the first qualifying session in 17th place with a time of 1’51,512, but is convinced he will improve in tomorrow’s second qualifying to secure his place in Superpole.

Today’s first practice session was held in wet conditions, but fortunately the track had dried in time for this afternoon’s Qualifying. The strong winds made it difficult for all riders and with the air temperatures only getting up to 15°C – and the track reaching 20°C – conditions were never very favourable. Provisional Pole was set by Jakub Smrz on a Ducati.

Camier and Hopkins will have a further qualifying session tomorrow morning (09.45hrs local time – 16.45hrs BST) to attempt to qualify for the 16-place Superpole shootout in the afternoon, which will see them push for the best grid positions for Monday’s races.

Leon Camier close to 2012 Miller World Superbike Provisional Pole