Leon Camier warmed up for what he intends to be a title clinching ride in the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli at Silverstone by setting a scorching pace in free practice.
The Airwaves Yamaha rider who needs only to finish in a points scoring position ahead of his team-mate and only rival for the crown, James Ellison, underlined his determination with a couple of fast laps in the closing minutes of the session, running half a second clear of the Cumbrian.
Camier lapped the 2.213 mile International circuit in 1m 25.781secs, an average speed of 92.87mph, and is looking good to further extend his 16 race winning pedigree amid a dominant campaign that has put him 99.5 points clear in the rankings.
“I know that I don’t need to do anything silly and that I just need to beat James, but he is going to be up there so I need to just focus on doing my own thing,” said Camier. “For me it is more about having it all to lose rather than to win, but who knows what will happen especially when the red mist comes down. I need to keep focussed as it is not all over yet.”
Ellison, who ran the faster of the two in the morning session, needs strong results to maintain his second place in the rankings which is coming under threat from the Flying Scot Stuart Easton, who, fresh from his maiden victory in the previous round at Croft is on the pace again here.
Riding the Hydrex Honda, Easton ran with a best lap of 1m 26.595secs and he reflected: “I feel like the pressure is on Ellison now in the championship as he has second to lose but I have it to gain.”
Pressing the leading trio at the sharp end of the action is Simon Andrews riding the MSS Colchester Kawasaki, fourth fastest, ahead of Tommy Hill on the second Hydrex Honda and Karl Harris who settled quickly on his debut with the sorrymate.com SMT Honda team, with a best lap in 1m 27.160secs.
Ian Lowry ran seventh on the Relentless Suzuki, a split second up on HM Plant Honda’s Josh Brookes with John Laverty aboard the Buildbase Kawasaki and Motorpoint Henderson Yamaha’s Chris Walker completing the top ten.
Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli, with a lap of1m 27.439secs aboard the Worx Crescent Suzuki ran eleventh, ahead of the Mirror.co.uk Cup champion Gary Mason on the Quay Garage Honda, with Michael Rutter, riding his fifth different make of bike of the season and re-introducing Ducati into BSB, just adrift with a lap in 1m 27.540secs.
NB Suzuki rider Tommy Bridewell was the second fastest qualifier in the Cup stakes, running just ahead of Metzeler National Superstock 1000 Champion Alastair Seeley who was graduating into the top flight aboard the Relentless Suzuki team’s Evo bike, built to meet the regulations of the new for 2010 BSB Evolution Class.
Top ten times in free practice
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 1m25.781s
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.510s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +0.814s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.814s
Tommy Hill (Hydrex Honda) +1.215s
Karl Harris (Sorrymate.com SMT Honda) +1.379s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +1.397s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.425s
John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +1.439s
Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) +1.524s