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Phillip Island WorldSBK test: Camier finds fast pace from the off

After some more than solid winter tests in Europe, Red Bull Honda's Leon Camier continued his rich seam of form on day one of the PI WorldSBK tests, going fourth fastest despite winds which he felt were as bad as he had ever experienced at the Phillip Island circuit.

“Both the strength and the gustiness, and more the gustiness because it was inconsistent, and so it was hard to be precise for sure,” Camier told bikesportnews.com. “This is one of the areas where we can improve because I am wheelying as I am trying to turn into turn one. Which is proper scary. This is something that we know we can improve on anyway but it is not going to be ready until Aragon, or maybe later.”

There were no real new parts or components to test for Camier in Australia. “The bike is exactly the same as Jerez and Portimao,” he confirmed. “We are trying a few things in the chassis to try and improve in the corners but at the minute we have not really found the direction. It is also really hard to understand, with the wind, what the direction is.


"We have still got to make a step on the race tyre consistently. We are not bad on race pace but we need to make a step for sure to be similar to where we are on the fastest lap. To be in fourth, fifth, or even battling for a podium we need to half a second to be in the fight. But half a second is a lot round here.”

Camier is persevering with the 2017 Cosworth electronics system, to obviously good effect, as he finished only three-tenths behind reigning and triple champion Jonathan Rea.

“I think the electronics are working pretty good, to be honest,” said Camier. “I feel they are good. It will be interesting when we get the chance to try the Marelli system for sure. I think there were some delays with parts or something, which is why it is taking some time.”

What was new for Camier was not anything from his team but from single make tyre supplier, Pirelli. An all-new – bigger and taller – W1049 rear tyre. It has a 200/65 section, with a greater rolling diameter than the previous offerings and other design steps to allow it to run cooler than the 2017 season V0965 it shares its overall compound with.

“I tried one from Pirelli and it was the one I set my fastest lap time on but I did not get many laps to go on it,” said Camier. “I only did - I think - two laps on it, and then the session was red flagged. So I never got a good run on it. It changes the bike a lot because it is bigger so we have to find how we get the balance of the bike the same with the big tyre or the smaller tyre - what we have to adjust.”

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