Leon Camier, the leader in the chase for the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, powers into the seventh round at Mallory Park hoping for an upturn in his recent fortunes while racing at the Leicestershire circuit.
The Airwaves Yamaha rider has won all but two of the dozen races so far, opening up a commanding 78 points lead over his team-mate James Ellison in the title stakes but he has to make it a case of third time lucky at this short, but demanding circuit.
“The last two years there have been horrendous for me,” reflected Camier. “I’ve only had problems there on a Superbike. In 2007 the weather was so bad and then I had a big crash while last season, after machine problems in practice and qualifying, I was knocked off in the first race.”
The positive memory for Camier is that he won there in his Supersport days, and that will be driving him on. “The circuit has a bit of a stop-start nature and that might be a bit difficult for us getting away from the slow turns, but, if I can’t win, then I will settle for good points, though I really will be pushing for the wins.”
The season so far has been remarkable, considering that Camier had not turned a wheel on his bike till first free practice for the opening round at Brands Hatch. “It couldn’t be much better and we have things under control. There are areas we can improve, and we have to be consistent, maintain the gap, as the opposition are catching up slowly.”
Flying Scot Stuart Easton, riding for the Hydrex Honda team, is showing the consistent form to suggest that he could be the rider to break the Airwaves run of form – he has a string of six podium finishes to his credit, three of them seconds and he is long overdue maiden race winning victory in the top flight.
Josh Brookes, the Australian rider who has switched from World Supersport to head up the HM Plant Honda challenge, is in the midst of a strong run of form, with four top three rides in his last four races, something he is keen to continue. For these races, he has National Superstock Champion Steve Brogan as his team-mate, the Liverpudlian deputising for the injured Glen Richards.
Tommy Hill, free from his World Superbike commitments, makes his racing debut with the Worx Crescent Suzuki team. He takes over from Michael Rutter as the replacement rider for the injured Sylvain Guintoli, and Hill, who completes a century of appearances in this series in the first race at Mallory Park, showed good form in an extensive test session.
Others to keep an eye on in the two 30 lap races include the local favourite Chris Walker riding the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha; Simon Andrews aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and John Laverty aboard a similar bike in Buildbase colours. Ian Lowry, riding Relentless Suzuki and Karl Harris on the second Hydrex bike are also due strong performances.
Gary Mason, riding the Quay Garage Honda, intends to re-assert himself in the Mirror.co.uk Cup, with a winning double to protect his lead, as he comes under pressure from the ever consistent Peter Hickman riding the Ultimate Racing Yamaha, while the form-man in the class is Tommy Bridewell, the winner of three of the last four races on the Team NB Suzuki.
Mallory Park fast-facts
Lap records – 1.41 mile circuit
Superbike Ryuichi Kiyonari, Honda, 55.845s, 90.89mph, 22/07/07
Supersport Cal Crutchlow, Honda, 57.409s, 88.41mph, 04/06/06
125GP Robbie Stewart, Honda, 59.886s, 84.76mph, 22/07/07
- Leon Camier 267
- James Ellison 189
- Stuart Easton 173
- Glen Richards 103
- Josh Brookes 99
- Simon Andrews 92
- Karl Harris 87
- Chris Walker 79
- Ian Lowry 78
- Sylvain Guintoli 77
- Steve Plater 100
- Billy McConnell 85
- Daniel Cooper 73
- James Westmoreland 72
- Ben Wilson 72
- Dan Linfoot 52
- James Webb 43
- Hudson Kennaugh 43
- Tom Grant 39
- Lee Johnston 36