Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier marked his return to World Superbike action following a month-long lay-off due to a broken foot to record a solid sixth-quickest time in today’s first qualifying session for this weekend at Jerez in Spain. But even after an impressive time the rider is still struggling with his confidence.
Camier used this morning’s free practice session to re-acquaint himself with the Suzuki GSX-R and to test a number of setup strategies that his team wanted to evaluate. Following further setting changes in time for this afternoon’s session, Camier felt more at home on his machine and quickly got into a smooth and fast rhythm as he continued to build in confidence. He improved on his times throughout the 45-minutes of qualifying, before eventually putting a softer rear compound tyre into his bike and setting the sixth-fastest time.
The rider is still in some pain, and expects going the full race distance with a foot injury will be a challenge, but he is not complaining and hopes he can find some confidence on his bike to win some valuable points from the main races on Sunday.
“This morning the guys had some settings that they wanted to try that they had picked up from the other riders, but it really didn’t work for me and the bike didn’t feel so good to ride, plus I’m lacking a bit of confidence so the combination of the two left us down towards the bottom of the timesheets,” said Camier.
"This afternoon we put the bike back to how I had it last time out and I was then able to try the soft tyre and managed to go quick at the end. I was happy with the lap-time to be sixth, but we need some more dry time to get some consistency.
"I am still not very confident on the bike, so I really need dry time to get the feeling back, but rain is forecast tomorrow so that might not be possible. My foot feels awkward, especially in some of the right-hand corners, but I can get around ok. I think for race distance it will be painful, because at the end of today it was throbbing and starting to swell up, but it is what it is so there’s no point complaining.”