Crescent FIXI Suzuki is on its way to the fourth round of this year's World Superbike Championship which takes place at Monza in northern Italy this weekend with both riders targeting good results.
Leon Camier heads to the Italian circuit in a positive frame-of-mind and is sure that his knowledge of the track will enable him to push his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R1000 on towards a decent finish.
John Hopkins is travelling to the Monza circuit to race for the first time in his career. He will need to spend some time acquainting himself with the 5.755m long track, but the 28-year-old is certain that he will get to grips with the circuit quickly and be up to speed as soon as possible. Hopkins has spent the time since the last race at Assen working on his fitness and has reported no problems from his injured hand.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is located north of Milan and is often referred to as the 'Temple of Speed' and is famous for its 1.195 kilometre-long front straight, which sees the riders achieve speeds of over 320 kph. Its mix of very long straights and tight chicanes make good braking stability and traction as important as the high speeds that the bikes can attain.
Camier and Hopkins will take to the track for the first practice session on Friday morning as they begin their preparations for Sunday's two races; the first of which is scheduled to get underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).
"Monza is going to be a tough one for sure. The track is all about speed, but you also have to understand the corners as well. It's a place where slipstreaming is very important and it is possible to be fourth going into Ascari and still win the race. For that you need to be in front going into the Parabolica because the finish line is much nearer to the last corner than it used to be. Last year I was faster than my team mate in the second race, but a crash ruined everything.
"Because of the changing weather conditions in the last round, we didn't get a chance to try as many things as we would've liked, so we'll use the first practice as a kind of test session. I am looking forward to Monza and would like three days of dry weather so we can get all our work done at the beginning. If we do that, I feel positive we can come away with good results."
"Funnily enough, I have never ridden at Monza before, so I will have to start the weekend learning the track. Normally I am a quick learner and, because I have watched a lot of TV footage of the track, I don't see any big problems. Apart from the chicanes, it looks pretty straightforward. As long as it's dry, I reckon I can get it dialled-in pretty easily.
"After the last race, I had absolutely no problems with my hand at all. Since then, I've been mountain biking and doing some Motocross and the hand has been good. I felt very comfortable on the Crescent FIXI Suzuki in Assen and was just happy to be out there riding and getting to know the bike better. Now I'm looking forward to Monza and getting my best results of the season so far."