FIXI Crescent Suzuki is celebrating after Jules Cluzel and Leon Camier both recorded podium finishes in today's races at the eni FIM Superbike World Championship at Silverstone in England.
Cluzel took a stunning second in race two after leading the race for three laps. He got a good start from 10th on the grid and by the end of lap-one had moved up four places. He continued his march through the field and by lap-eight was in the top-three. Cluzel was involved in a monumental battle with a number of riders for the top places including team-mate Camier, which saw the FIXI Crescent Suzuki duo take first and second place as the race wore on. Cluzel battled on in to second place after Camier suffered some bad luck and dropped a couple of places, but as the rain got heavier, the Frenchman crashed out. Cluzel never let go of his machine and quickly re-mounted and for once luck was on the side of the FIXI Crescent Suzuki man, as unfortunately another rider also crashed and the race was red-flagged. The result was declared from the previous lap, which saw Cluzel take a deserved second place and give the team its best-ever result in World Superbikes. Camier challenged all the way to the line before finishing in a very creditable fifth.
Camier carried the torch for the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 in race one, as the 'Birthday Boy' (27) celebrated in style by taking a hard-earned podium after 17 tough laps of racing. The start was delayed as rain gently fell on the 5,902m track, but when the race started Camier got a poor start and found himself back in 10th place at the end of the first-lap. The rain stayed off until lap-six when it started to fall on parts of the track. As none of the front runners came in to change tyres, Camier seized his opportunity and bravely pushed on to make his way through the field. On lap-12 he had made his way to third, and on lap-16 was in second, but couldn't hold on to the position as a last-lap battle with Eugene Laverty saw him miss-out on the higher place. He brought his machine home in third for the team's first podium finish of the season and a fitting reward to an impressive weekend's performance.
Cluzel also had strong first race, which also saw him push-up into the top-three on lap-10, but his choice of tyre didn't work to his advantage and he was unable to sustain his challenge. The rookie eventually finished in sixth place, but was sure a better result was possible if his gamble with the compound had worked.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now have a short summer break before it resumes racing action at Nurburgring in Germany on Sunday September 1st.
"It has been really good today, especially in the second race because I chose the right tyre and my pace was fast. I didn't get a very good start, but in the dry I was able to come back and when I saw some little spots of rain, I continued to push hard because it was not wet. I had some chance to make up some places and for the first time this season the rain helped me. The last lap was unbelievable though, because as I arrived in the corner it was impossible to stay on the bike, but I was able to get back on and then the race was stopped, so I finished second. I think I deserved this result and I want to say thank-you to my team for all the hard work. I also want to congratulate Leon on a great podium and wish him a very Happy Birthday - I enjoyed his cake!"
"The first race was good because everything on the bike felt good and it performed well. When it dried out fully I felt like we didn't quite have the pace of the others, but in the 'in-between' conditions I made the most of it so I was able to be in there at the end. I made a pass on Eugene on the last-lap but he came past on the straight and I couldn't do anything about that. I tried again, but couldn't get past him as I felt I was on the limit. In the second race I got a better start and the bike was working really well - the guys have done a great job with it this weekend - and towards the end of the race I felt stronger than everyone else. I thought I had the speed to win the race so I was disappointed with the result. I got beaten-up a couple of times in the turns and then Chaz blew-up in-front of me and that cost a lot of time. Then Guintoli pushed me wide and it turned into one of those races. If you were in the wrong place at the wrong time it was a bit of carnage and that was what happened to me!
"I want to say a big 'well done' to Jules; he rode two really good races today and it was great to see him get that result in the second race, not just for him, but for the whole team and all our sponsors here today."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"It's been a great day for FIXI Crescent Suzuki here at Silverstone and just rewards for the incredible dedication and efforts that the team continually makes. There was a moment about four-laps from the end of the second race when Leon and Jules were first and second - and pulling away - when I thought the day would go from positive to dreamlike! I don't think there is much I can say about the performances of both riders that can't be seen from the incredible racing footage and the results they achieved. I genuinely believe that if the second race had stayed dry, and with five-laps to go, Leon was in a position to pull away and win. He had incredible pace, but being the first rider to arrive in the rain and a bit of bad luck with Davies' BMW exploding in front of him knocked him backwards. I don't think we can be unsatisfied with a third and a fifth for Leon' and Jules backing that up with an amazing ride to second in the second race was more than we could have asked for.
"I want to thank all of our partners, sponsors and guests for coming this weekend, it was incredibly busy and I hope that they all had a great time and went away happy with these two results. I also want to thank all the team and hospitality crew for a fantastic job in all departments."
Silverstone - eni FIM Superbike - Race One: 1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 37'16.058: 2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) +3.073: 3. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +3.480: 4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) +3.608: 5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) +4.140: 6. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +5.659.
Silverstone - eni FIM Superbike - Race Two: 1. Baz 33.46'622: 2. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +0.609: 3. Laverty +869: 4. Rea +2.145: 5. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) +2.229.
World Championship Classification: 1. Guintoli 262: 2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 249: 3. Laverty 226: 4. Marco Melandri (BMW) 221: 5. Chaz Davies (BMW) 180: 9. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 114: 10. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 113