Leon Camier dominated race one, at the sixth round of the ViSK British Superbike Championship at Knockhil, and gave Airwaves Yamaha its first win in Scotland.
Karl Harris crashed his Hydrex Honda on the first lap at the hairpin and almost took Chris Walker on the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha with him.
Camier got his head down and pulled a lead of 2.5secs setting the fastest lap on lap 13 with a time of 48.884secs. Gary Mason and Tristan Palmer got tangled up with each other, crashing at the hairpin and bringing out the Safety Car as oil needed to be cleared from the track. This allowed all the riders to bunch up behind Camier and reduced his lead to just 0.228secs.
As the Safety Car came in Camier took his time to set the race going again. He took a long look over his shoulder at the competition before once again checking out and taking the race win over Stuart Easton on the Hydrex Honda by 1.805secs. Pole Sitter Josh Brookes aboard the HM Plant Honda had to settle for third as he simply couldn’t pass the fast Scotsman.
Camier said: “It was hard work as the times have been close all weekend. We found something during morning warm-up so thanks to Airwaves Yamaha. Behind the Safety Car I was thinking all sorts. I went to go and had a big wheelie so I backed off and went again. My first lap was bad but once I got into the rhythm it was ok.”
British Supersport Knockhill Race One Result
1. Leon Camier 27:00.163 2. Stuart Easton +1.805 3. Josh Brookes +1.904 4. Simon Andrews +4.001 5. James Ellison +4.875 6. Ian Lowry +4.898 7. Chris Walker +6.587 8. Graeme Gowland +7.328 9. Tommy Bridewell +9.551 10. Jason O’Halloran +9.728
HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes will lead the field away at Knockhill on Sunday, having taken top spot during the Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole.
Brookes edged out Leon Camier, the leader of the ViSK.com British Superbike Championship, by 0.297 seconds – his best lap a 48.759 seconds.
It was his maiden BSB pole – and the first of the year for HM Plant – and after crashing in final practice and completing only 9 laps all the more impressive.
“It feels really good to be on pole here and I knew it was always possible and I just never lost the faith despite a difficult start to the season,” Brookes told the official BSB website.
“It feels good to be back at the top and we have a good race set up for tomorrow. It was a whole sequence of events to get that lap; we worked really hard this morning and I chucked it up the road and trashed it.
“We made changes in qualifying one to the suspension just to fine tune it and find the right balance and the best compromise. I just went out there and went for it! I did a couple of good laps then went all out. I strung the whole lap together for the first time, as before I was quick but not in all the sectors so that final lap was pretty hectic for me! I was all over the place, on the curbs, the front was tucking and the back was coming round.
“I am really happy for the whole HM Plant Honda team especially after all their hard work to get me back out there after the crash this morning.”
Stuart Easton meanwhile came in third for Hydrex Honda, with ‘stand-in’ Michael Rutter fourth and Karl Harris, who crashed out at Leslie’s late on, fifth.
James Ellison was next up, followed by Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha duo Chris Walker and Graeme Gowland.
Ian Lowry and Glen Richards rounded out the top ten, although they tangled at Real Radio Hairpin at the start of the third session. Lowry escaped unhurt, while Richards was not so lucky and required medical attention. He was later taken to Queen Margaret hospital in Dunfermline with a suspected broken right femur.
There were also a number of other incidents during qualifying, with Alastair Fagan crashing at Seats Curve, he escaped uninjured, as well as David Haire and Jon Kirkham, both of whom fell at Leslie’s. Haire was off in Q1, while Kirkham waited until Q2 for his fall.
British Superbikes Knockhill Qualifying Times
1. Josh Brookes AUS HM Plant Honda 48.759secs 2. Leon Camier GBR Airwaves Yamaha 49.056secs 3. Stuart Easton GBR Hydrex Honda 49.110secs 4. Michael Rutter GBR Worx Crescent Suzuki 49.133secs 5. Karl Harris GBR Hydrex Honda 49.183secs 6. James Ellison GBR Airwaves Yamaha 49.348secs 7. Chris Walker GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha 49.383secs 8. Graeme Gowland GBR Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha 49.490secs 9. Ian Lowry GBR Relentless TAS Suzuki 50.404secs 10. Glen Richards AUS HM Plant Honda No time 11. Gary Mason GBR Quay Honda 49.584secsCup 12. Simon Andrews GBR MSS Colchester Kawasaki 49.605secs 13. John Laverty IRL Buildbase Kawasaki 49.614secs 14. David Johnson AUS Team Maxxis Adept Yamaha 49.663secs 15. Peter Hickman GBR Ultimate Yamaha 49.698secsCup 16. Tristan Palmer GBR Buildbase Kawasaki 49.764secs 17. Julien Da Costa FRA MSS Colchester Kawasaki 49.772secs 18. Tommy Bridewell GBR Team NB Suzuki 49.804secsCup 19. Jon Kirkham GBR North West 200 Yamaha 49.864secs 20. Jason O’Halloran AUS SMT Honda 49.929secs 21. Atsushi Watanabe JPN Relentless TAS Suzuki 50.015secs 22. Tom Tunstall GBR Hardinge Doodson Honda 50.526secsCup 23. Aaron Zanotti GBR Red Viper Honda 50.572secs 24. David Haire GBR DHR Racing Honda 50.772secsCup 25. Alastair Fagan GBR Red Viper Honda 51.133secsCup
Leon Camier and the Airwaves Yamaha team took a stunning race win at Brands Hatch this afternoon (Monday) in the second race for the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli.
The race win is all the more special for the championship-winning team as Friday was the first time the new Yamaha had run, with the team completing no pre-season testing.
Camier said: “I can’t believe it. I just am amazed with how this weekend has gone for us. We had no testing on the Airwaves Yamaha but we stayed positive and we have been consistent this weekend which has really been the key. I just need to thank everyone at GSE Racing and all of our sponsors.”
It was Stuart Easton that got another flying start off the line and was first into Paddock Hill Bend on the opening lap ahead of Steve Plater, Karl Harris and Glen Richards. ‘Bomber’ had an early charge though, passing Plater into Graham Hill Bend on the Hydrex Honda.
Camier began his battle to the front early; he was sixth during the opening laps but passed Sylvain Guintoli at Druids to move fifth, then repeated the move on Harris just a lap later. This clearly had fired up the local hero as after passing Harris he then put a move on Glen Richards at Clearways. He then moved to second on lap 12 to move to second with just Easton standing in his way of the race win.
Camier made his move with just over ten laps to go, when he barged his way through on the inside line at Clearways. The Airwaves Yamaha rider may have taken the lead, but meanwhile Guintoli was moving up the order on the Worx Crescent Suzuki.
Guintoli had not made the best of starts, but at the midway point of the race he was cutting his way through the field in the final ten laps of the race. The Frenchman made some committed passes, first at Druids to pass Plater then with three laps to go he dived down the inside of Easton at Paddock Hill Bend. The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider now leads the standings after the opening round.
Plater managed to make a move on Easton to secure the final podium place, with Richards rounding out the top five on the second of the HM Plant Hondas. Harris secured sixth for Hydrex Honda ahead of James Ellison whilst Chris Walker managed to finish eighth for the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha team.
ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, Brands Hatch, race two result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 2. Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +2.319s 3. Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) +3.347s 4. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +3.772s 5. Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +3.915s 6. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +11.121s 7. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +11.531s 8. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +11.826s 9. Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +12.968s 10. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +14.641s
Reigning champions Airwaves Yamaha head to Brands Hatch this Easter Bank Holiday weekend for the opening round of the 2009 British Superbike Championship.
Riders Leon Camier (22) and James Ellison (28) scored a podium apiece on the Championship’s last visit to the 1.2 mile circuit. Both riders will be looking for similar performances aboard the all new factory-supported Airwaves Yamaha YZF-R1 to begin their assault on the 2009 title.
Scoring a total of 3 wins and a further 5 podiums in his second British Superbike season in 2008, Leon from Ashford in Kent, is excited about the season ahead saying, “Brands Hatch is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, it’s also mine and GSE Group’s home round so I really want to come away with some strong results. Having seen the Yamaha YZF-R1 perform so well on the World stage, it’s made me even more excited about getting the season started.
“Having ridden with the team last year, I know what we can achieve so I just need to make sure I perform consistently throughout the season.”
Joining Leon this year is James Ellison from Kendal in Cumbria, a former MotoGP rider who won the British Superbike Cup with Yamaha in 2004.
On the weekend ahead James commented, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about the start of a season. The new Airwaves Yamaha YZF-R1 looks to be a fantastic bike so I can’t wait to take it around Brands Hatch for the first time.
“To be riding for the most successful team in the paddock is a fantastic opportunity for me so I have been training hard over the winter to make sure I am as fit and strong as I can be. The competition will be tough, but with the Airwaves Yamaha team behind me, I’m confident of a good weekend with some important points finishes.”
Managing Director of Yamaha UK, Andrew Smith, said “We are delighted to finally be getting the season underway with the GSE Team. Unfortunately, through no fault of theirs, our preparations have not been ideal due to the very late arrival of the special factory parts. Only a team with the experience of GSE could have coped with this situation and I would like to personally thank Darrell, Colin, Leon, James and the whole crew for their patience and understanding during this “challenging” period. Our objectives for the GSE team this year are very clear as we will be working closely with our factory World Superbike team to further jointly develop the all new R1 by running the same specification machines throughout the season. And then simply win…”
Team Manager Colin Wright added, “Expectations are high for this weekend and as always we will be pushing for two podium finishes for both riders. Having competed in Superbike racing for over ten years, we know that a championship can’t be won at the first round alone, so we will be looking for some solid results to kick-off our campaign for a fifth series title.”
The first round of the British Superbike Championship takes place on Monday 13th April.
Interested in replicating the new-look Airwaves Yamaha livery should visit the Rage Designs website at www.ragedesigns.co.uk.