Leon Camier took his fourth victory, to tighten his grip on the chase for the ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, in an incident packed third round, at Donington Park, in which his Airwaves Yamaha team-mate James Ellison enjoyed his maiden victory in the top flight.
That win moved Ellison into second place in the rankings, 28 points down on Camier, at the expense of the unfortunate Sylvain Guintoli whose race was over before it started.
The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider crashed at the Melbourne Hairpin on the sighting lap ahead of the opening race in a collision with the HM Plant Honda of Josh Brookes that had suffered a brake problem. Guintoli suffered a broken fibula and tibia in his right leg, an injury that will sideline him for some eight weeks.
Camier, using the team’s uprated engine for the first time, had claimed his second pole start, but he made a sluggish get-away to the first race to be running fourth on a first lap led by Ellison from Chris Walker and Stuart Easton.
By the fifth lap, Camier had taken the lead and there was no way he was going to be beaten, taking the victory by 3.6secs from Ellison, and that despite suffering a cold.
“I’m feeling pretty weak and made a few little mistakes out there as it was hard to keep my concentration up,” explained Camier. “We have the new engine but have struggled a bit with the set-up, but there is time for improvement, the big thing is that I have to improve on my race starts.”
Easton took third for Hydrex Honda, ahead of Walker and Glen Richards.
Next time out, in a race re-started after the demise of Karl Harris, tumbling from his oil dropping bikes, Richards made the running on his HM Plant Honda ahead of the Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha in the hands of Walker.
Camier was third but on the third lap, he stopped with a technical blip at the Melbourne Hairpin, but was able to rejoin the action last, and then put together a determined damage limitation ride, taking twelfth and with it four points.
Ellison meanwhile was on the charge, taking the lead on the eighth lap and then heading off all challenges to record that elusive first victory. “That was awesome, though very hectic. It was nerve wracking over the last couple of laps as I had to set the pace, but I felt confident.
“I said after taking second place in the first race that this was the start for real of my season – this victory underlines that,” said Ellison. Easton was second from Walker and Simon Andrews with Richards fifth.
Gary Mason made it ‘six of the best’ in the Mirror.co.uk Cup as he continued his clean sweep in the race within a race for independent teams. The Quay Garage Honda rider ran twelfth overall in the opening race.
“It was hard as we had a real struggle over the weekend with set-up problems and didn’t qualify as well as I wanted to. Then I missed a gear so it was a bit frustrating though I still took the victory,” explained Mason who upped his game next time out, taking seventh place overall.
Behind Mason in the Cup stakes, Tom Tunstall took second place in the opener ahead of Martin Jessopp while next time out Peter Hickman was in second place, with Jessopp again third.
These latest victories leave Mason 150-112 ahead of Jessopp in the chase for the Cup crown.
Round 3 – ViSK British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli
Race one – 20 laps
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 30m 45.324secs, av.sp. 97.54mph
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +3.644s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +10.490s
Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +13.459s
Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +15.146s
Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +15.865s
Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +31.782s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +34.781s
John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +35.362s
Graeme Gowland (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +35.654s
Race two – 20 laps
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) 30m 45.324secs
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +2.582s
Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +5.740s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +9.517s
Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) +9.729s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +18.247s
Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +26.512s
Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) +27.330s
Tristan Palmer (Buildbase Kawasaki) +28.626s
John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +31.155s
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 117
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) 89
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) 78
Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 77
Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) 76
Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) 60
Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) 49
Gary Mason (Quay Garage Honda) 46
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 40
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 35