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FIXI Crescent Suzuki set for Algarve WSB

FIXI Crescent Suzuki is on the Algarve coast in Portugal for the 13th and penultimate round of the 2012 eni FIM Superbike World Championship to be held this weekend at the Portimao circuit.

Following his superb result in the last round at Nurburgring, Leon Camier is planning on continuing in the same vein of form at a circuit that should suit his riding style. His podium in Germany was a just reward for Camier and the whole crew and has given a huge boost to the team as it enters the final stages of the season.

John Hopkins will be racing at a track that is completely new to him this weekend, so will need to be up-to-speed quickly at a circuit that is notoriously difficult for bike set-up. The Anglo-American is not deterred by that though, as he too aims to end the season strongly and secure his best results of the year in the forthcoming two events on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is an ultra modern track that was completed in 2008 and opened officially when it hosted the finale of the World Superbike Championship the same year and since then the series has visited 4,592m Portimao circuit every year. The layout is situated in hilly landscape and consequently features many undulating sections. A number of changes in direction and gradients, crests, some complex sections, a lot of long corners and a winding infield make the circuit a real challenge for riders and teams alike. This weekend looks like being very exciting as the World Championship title battle enters into its final stages, with three riders still in with a chance of taking the title. Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri and Briton Tom Sykes are all still in with a shot of winning this title and with two rounds and four races remaining, it all looks like a thrilling climax is on the cards.

The penultimate World Superbike weekend of the season will get underway on Friday with the first practice and qualifying sessions. Saturday morning will have a second qualifying session to reduce the field to just 16-riders, who will then progress to that afternoon's Superpole. Sunday's 22-lap races will start at 12.00hrs local time (12.00hrs BST) and 15.30hrs local time (15.30hrs BST).

Leon Camier:
"I've always liked the Portimao circuit and my race pace has been pretty good there, even if my qualification has not! It's pretty hard to get a good bike set-up there because of all the changes of direction and elevation but, once you know where you are going, you can put in good laps. I'm not sure how the FIXI Crescent Suzuki is going to go round there, because the track is very different to the Nurburgring, but I'm sure the boys and I will sort the bike out as best we can. There have been a lot of congratulations after Nurburgring and it's been great for the team, because it's been a tough season, but a result like that makes up for the hard times before. Now, we're hoping we'll keep progressing and end the season on the up."

John Hopkins:
"I've not raced at Portimao, so the first thing I have to do is learn the circuit. From what I've heard, the track is quite a tough one for bike set-up, but I learn tracks pretty quickly, so I'm not worried about that aspect. Portimao certainly seems to have a bit of everything and I think it's a track I'm going to enjoy once I get the hang of it. Once I feel confident about pushing the FIXI Crescent Suzuki hard, I'll be going all-out for my best results of the year."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"All of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki were so happy after the podium at the Nurburgring and we are determined to continue the progress and chase good results in the last two rounds of the championship. Portimao is a very different track to Nurburgring, but our aim - as usual - is to do well in qualifying and get both Leon and John safely into Superpole. After that we'll see what happens. I'm sure that Leon and John are fully motivated about his coming weekend and looking forward to getting some more good results."