FIXI Crescent Suzuki is heading for the south of Portugal as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship makes the next stop on its tour at Portimao for round six of the series.
Leon Camier is travelling to the Portuguese circuit looking to put the disappointment he suffered last time out at Donington firmly behind him. The Englishman is now fully fit and is aiming at getting back to basics at a circuit that saw him cruelly robbed of a very possible podium last season. Camier was challenging for third as the final lap approached in 2012, but a technical issue forced him to retire at the start of the last lap. With the thought of what might have been still firmly in his mind, and the desire to make amends for his crashes at Donington, Camier is clearly focused on the job ahead.
Jules Cluzel is returning to a circuit that saw him take third on the grid last season in the Supersport class, but he bettered that on race-day by taking victory in the 600cc category - his penultimate win of the season. The Frenchman has been producing solid performances on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R in his first season in the Superbike class and will be looking to find more speed in Portugal.
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the most modern tracks on the World Superbike calendar. Situated in the Algarve region of Southern Portugal, it was completed in 2008 and opened officially when it hosted the finale of the WSB championship that year. The layout of the 4,592m circuit is situated in hilly landscape and features many sections that rise and fall over the configuration. A number of changes in direction throughout the 15 corners, allied with some complex sections, a lot of long corners and a winding infield, make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike.
The sixth round of the World Superbike season will get underway on Friday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. Saturday morning will see Camier and Cluzel in a second qualifying session that will reduce the field to just 15-riders, who will then progress to Superpole. Sunday's two races will be 22-laps long and will start at 12.00hrs local time (12.00hrs BST) and 15.30hrs local time (15.30hrs BST).
"I can't wait to get back on the bike and hopefully make amends for what happened at Donington last weekend. I have been training hard and that's all been going good, so I know my fitness is up there; now we need to bounce back and put the last race behind us. We'll be looking to build the weekend up as it goes along and aim to get the FIXI Crescent Suzuki in to a strong position for race-day. We need to get back to our strengths and start pushing for some good results. I was unlucky at Portimao last year because I was with Max Biaggi all the way and if I hadn't had to retire I think I could have got third. I really like the Portimao track and my race-pace has always been pretty good there - we now need to get the bike feeling right, make sure I stay consistent; and see what we can produce."
"We will try and work in the same way that we did at Donington, but this time we really hope we can have some nice weather on Friday. This will help us to work on the bike and the set-up and get a good base for qualifying. It would be really nice to get a full weekend on the bike, because the more time I spend on the Suzuki GSX-R the better it is for me. I went very well at Portimao last year; it was my first time at the track and I was able to win the race, but this year it will be much tougher and it's a very physical circuit so I will have to concentrate a lot. I am really excited about going there though and wish that it was Friday already!"