Leon Camier will test with the Crescent Suzuki team for the first time at Portimao on Monday as the team kick off their preparations for the 2012 World Superbike Championship. The Briton has joined the WSBK newcomers from Aprilia Alitalia and will partner John Hopkins, who raced for Crescent in this year's British Championship.
Among the challenges facing Camier are the jobs of familiarising himself with the Suzuki as well as trying out different chassis set-ups while also fine-tuning the Motec electronics package. The 25 year old can't wait to begin working with his new employers and has stressed that lap times are not important early on.
“I’m very excited to get out on the bike. There is a lot to test on the Crescent Suzuki and I’ll be getting to know the team. My focus will initially not be solely on lap times; at the minute it’s more about getting comfortable with the bike and having a good platform for the next test.”
With Hopkins injured, Alastair Seeley will take his place in testing the second GSX-R1000 and the new British Supersport Champion is looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’m really excited about testing with Crescent Suzuki. It’s always interesting to see how things work with another team, plus it will be great to be back on a Superbike after a year in a different class.”
Team Manager Jack Valentine is excited ahead of their first get-together as a World Superbike team and hopes to head into the new year with reason for optimism.
“I’m really looking forward to getting Leon on the bike. We’ll be aiming to get a good chassis set-up for him, and if he clicks with the bike early on – then we’ll be looking at lap times. But my primary aim is to get Leon comfortable on the bike so he can head into the winter testing break with a good feeling.”
“We will also be testing engines and electronic packages with the help of Alastair Seeley, who is standing-in for the injured John Hopkins. Alastair proved this season in British Supersport what a good rider he is, so we believe he’ll give us some useful input towards the development of the bike.”
“And last but not least, the team itself has had some new additions to it, making this trip somewhat of a team bonding exercise. So far the lads have gelled really well in the workshop, so I expect this will be the case in Portugal. The main thing is to come away happy, focussed, and with some positive feedback that will allow us to step up again before the next test in the New Year.”