Former British Superbike Champion Leon Camier has said he thought an easy second place was on the cards in Saturday's Suzuka Eight-Hours until his Yoshimura Suzuki was sidelined for eight laps with problem and then suffered a terminal setback and retired with just an hour to go.
Camier, with team-mates Nobu Aoki and the flying Josh Waters, started the race from third and were running strongly but the engine problem persisted. Camier was also given a stop-go for a yellow flag infringement.
“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," said the Andorra resident.
"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.”