Encouraging day for FIXI Crescent Suzuki
FIXI Crescent Suzuki racers John Hopkins and Leon Camier are safely within the provisional positions for tomorrow's Superpole despite difficult conditions on the first day of the ninth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship from Brno in the Czech Republic.
Hopkins recorded a best time of 2'00.528 during his 11-laps around the 5,403m Brno circuit in this afternoon's first qualifying session, giving him 12th place overall on the leader-board. He worked on tyre and chassis settings during this morning's practice session and found a clear direction for the weekend ahead. Unfortunately the weather this afternoon prevented him from making further progress and he will now be looking to improve tomorrow.
Camier was just 0.087 seconds behind his team-mate, as he posted the 13th fastest time of the afternoon from his 12 circulations of the Czech track. Like all riders today he struggled with the conditions, but was able to post a time that secured a provisional place in tomorrow afternoon's Superpole. Camier will be striving to cement that place in the final qualifying session on Saturday morning, to give him the opportunity of getting a good starting position for Sunday's races on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.
The morning untimed session was overcast and dry, but the afternoon qualifying session was beset by occasional bouts of rain which prevented the riders from pushing too hard. Davide Giugliano on a Ducati posted the fastest time in this afternoon, with Marco Melandri of BMW second and Aprilia's Eugene Laverty third.
Hopkins and Camier will have a final qualifying session tomorrow morning to confirm their positions in the afternoon's Superpole session, where the top-16 riders will be battling for the best grid positions in Sunday's two races, the first of which gets underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"I am also satisfied because both sessions were virtually trouble free and that's a good start to the weekend. John and Leon improved their chassis set-ups in the second session and this should go towards helping them in qualifying and Superpole tomorrow. Although a second off the pole, they ended qualifying only 0.3-of-a-second off the sixth fastest rider today, so once again, things are pretty close. Hopefully, they will confirm their places in Superpole and get good grid positions for Sunday's races."
Brno - eni FIM Superbike World Championship - Qualifying 1: