Crescent FIXI Suzuki upbeat at Monza
Crescent FIXI Suzuki's John Hopkins and Leon Camier will start tomorrow's Monza World Superbike Championship fourth round from row three of the grid after continually changing weather conditions at the Italian circuit made tyre choice and set-up extremely difficult this afternoon.
Hopkins, who will start in ninth position, was unlucky not to get through to the final top eight shoot-out after getting held up twice on his last flying lap, but overall feels more confident in the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000's wet set-up. Team-mate Camier starts from 12th on the grid after struggling to make his tyres work because of the difficult conditions, but is in an upbeat mood for tomorrow's race following a confidence-building day today.
Despite the qualifying and Superpole sessions held in neither fully wet or dry conditions - which made getting the tyres to perform to their best virtually impossible - Hopkins and Camier remain positive for Sunday's races.
Sylvain Guintoli on a Ducati secured his first-ever World Superbike pole position this afternoon to put him at the front of the grid for tomorrow's races.
Hopkins and Camier take to the track for the first race in Monza tomorrow at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST), but with similar weather forecast it looks like tyre choice will be an all important factor.
John Hopkins - 9th, 1'59.489:
"In 'Wet Superpole,' I tried full Wets, but the track wasn't really wet enough and the tyres wore out very quickly. If the conditions are the same tomorrow, I think we'll all have some problems. I feel a huge improvement in the bike on rain tyres compared to Assen. I also feel much more confident about riding in the wet and feel positive I can get some good results tomorrow."
Leon Camier -12th, 1'59,845:
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"I'm pretty happy generally because we've made a step forward today despite the dodgy conditions. My only worry for tomorrow is if the conditions (half wet, half dry) are the same as today because the tyres don't look as if they'll last. But the situation will be the same for everybody and there will be a lot of gambling with tyre choice, which may produce some strange results. It's good to see that John and Leon are feeling more confident again and that makes me think we can get some positive results tomorrow."