Leon Camier took on Broc Parkes to win the opening race of the weekend in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, taking his twelfth win of the season.
Camier said: “This really is turning into a dream season for me and it definitely went to plan in that race. This is a big weekend for me as it is my local round but also for the GSE Group so it is good to start the three races off with a win. It was a hard race initially due to the track conditions and it was difficult to stay consistent. We had a difficult start to the weekend, with a few problems but we pulled it out the bag today.”
Kawasaki World Superbike’s Parkes took the lead as the pack streamed into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, with fellow Australian Karl Muggeridge second on the HM Plant Honda. Camier was able to get one of his best starts of the season to settle into third ahead of team-mate James Ellison and Chris Walker.
Sheridan Morais crashed in spectacular style on the opening lap at Stirlings; he attempted to pass Tommy Hill for seventh but to avoid taking down the Worx Crescent Suzuki rider he took evasive action. Morais then fell in spectacular style, crashing his second bike so the team are now working hard to get the Kawasaki ready for tomorrow’s two races.
Camier then made his move for second on Muggeridge at Surtees, forcing the Airwaves Yamaha down the inside. Stuart Easton was also on the move after his third row start, he passed Walker at Hawthorns on lap three. He then had Muggeridge in his sights and he pulled an aggressive move into Paddock Hill Bend on the fifth lap to move ahead, with the pair elbow-to-elbow as they approached the corner.
Hill was also riding with sheer determination on the Worx Crescent Suzuki; he edged ahead of Ellison on the fifth lap, and then was shadowing Walker for fifth. He attempted a move on the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha at Surtees but out-braked himself and then moved back across, with all three riders side-by-side.
Hill was then on a mission to make another pass after keeping Ellison behind him, but on lap eight he was swapping paint with Walker again and the pair inseparable on the approach to Druids. Hill was eventually able to get the better of Walker but just couldn’t make up the ground on Muggeridge on the final lap.
John Laverty had battled his way to seventh after a dice with Karl Harris and the pair swapping places towards the final stages of the race, whilst Walker eventually dropped back to ninth after going wide at Surtees on the 13th lap.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli, Brands Hatch, Race One result:
1. Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha)
2. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike) 1.901s
3. Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +11.495s
4. Karl Muggeridge (HM Plant Honda) +15.461s
5. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +15.840s
6. James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +17.959s
7. John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +19.646s
8. Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +21.033s
9. Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +23.195s
10. Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +23.236s
Leon Camier will start his Airwaves Yamaha from pole position for the triple race eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli at Brands Hatch.
The championship leader shrugged aside his problematic free practice to put together a dominant performance in the grid deciding Swan Combi 50 Roll for Pole running fastest in each of the three elements to secure his sixth pole start of the campaign.
“We had a few issues yesterday, a bit like it was at Mallory, but we came out and started again this morning, and this shows the strength of the team,” explained a delighted Camier.
“The conditions were really hard. There was not a lot of stability or grip, but I’m sure that was the same for everyone. But, we’ve managed to pull it off again,” added Camier who bids for his twelfth victory of the season in this afternoon’s (sat) opening race of the weekend.
His pole setting lap in the third element of the session around the Kent grand prix circuit came in 1m 26.860secs, putting him clear of the Kawasaki World Superbike team riders Broc Parkes and Sheridan Morais.
Parkes ran with a time of 1m 27.093secs and is ready to take on Camier in the three races of this round. “I hope we can harass Leon a bit, make it exciting,” said the Aussie, adding “to be up here is awesome – the bike is working really well.”
Morais, the South African Superbike Champion, who is deputising for the team’s injured Makoto Tamada put in a lap of 1m 27.263secs, just ahead of Hydrex Honda rider Karl Harris.
Tommy Hill, uninjured when he tipped off in the first element of the grid decider, heads up the second row of the grid on the Worx Crescent Suzuki with a time of 1m 27.489secs, marginally faster than second in the title stakes James Ellison on the second Airwaves bike. Chris Walker, Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha, and Karl Muggeridge on the HM Plant Honda start alongside.
Michael Rutter put the MSS Colchester Kawasaki onto the third row, running faster than Stuart Easton, Julien da Costa and Graeme Gowland. Gary Mason, the leader in the chase for the Mirror.co.uk Cup starts his Quay Garage Honda from the fourth row, just ahead of his closest rival Peter Hickman riding the Ultimate Racing Yamaha.
Top ten qualifying times
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1:26.860s
Broc Parkes (Kawasaki World Superbike) +0.233s
Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki World Superbike) +0.403s
Karl Harris (Hydrex Honda) +0.512s
Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.629s
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.725s
Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +0.798s
Karl Muggeridge (HM Plant Honda) +0.976s
Michael Rutter (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.000s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +1.506s