World Superbike and World Supersport 2018 – Round 02: Chang International Circuit – Thailand – March 25, 2018

RACE 1 – Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier Charges to Fourth in Epic Thailand Battle
Leon Camier narrowly missed out on a debut podium with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, the Briton claiming a hard-fought fourth place in Race 1 of the Thai WorldSBK round after a stellar qualifying performance saw him start on the front row.

Leon Camier

Leon Camier

Leon Camier
After a brilliant showing in Superpole 2 where he set a time of 1’32.922 on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 to qualify in P3, Camier had a great start to the race and settled into third place for the opening laps. A well-calculated move on Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes saw Camier move up to second place after a few laps, a position he held until lap 13 when he was demoted back to third place by Ducati’s Xavi Fores.

Camier then enjoyed a fierce battle with Ducati’s Chaz Davies and was relegated to fourth place on the penultimate lap, ultimately finishing just 0.8 seconds short of a podium result. Camier’s fourth place not only secured a good haul of points but also ensured that he would start from pole position in Race 2.

In contrast it was a challenging race for Jake Gagne on the other Fireblade, the Amercian rider was unable to replicate his good form from earlier in the weekend and finished outside of the points in eighteenth place. Gagne was confident that he could turn things around and once again challenge for points in Race 2, where he would start from the fifth row on the grid in P14.

Honda Rider Comments

Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: Race 1 / 4th
“Today I was really happy with my performance but not quite happy with the result as I was so close to the podium! Although I missed the podium, there were a lot of positive things to take away from the day and the Fireblade was working really well. We made a small setting adjustment for Superpole which improved my one lap pace and helped put me on the front row, and we also made another small change for the race which was another step forward and meant I could challenge right at the front. Overall I am really happy with how today went – I think we’re close to consistently challenging the front guys – and we’ll see what I can do tomorrow in Race 2 from pole position.”

Leon Camier

Leon Camier

Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: Race 1 / 18th
“It was a rough day today; I was happy with my pace coming into qualifying but I had a crash in Superpole 1 due to making a small mistake which meant I couldn’t get into Superpole 2. The race was a tough one too, I got pushed wide in turn one and then had to try make up ground, but I wasn’t comfortable on the bike and found it hard to challenge the guys in front of me. I’m looking to get out there tomorrow and make up for today, we’ll try a couple of small changes in Warm Up to get the bike behaving better and I’ll push to get back in the points.”

Jake Gagne

Jake Gagne

Kervin Bos Team Manager
“It was an amazing race with Leon running at the front and being so close to the podium and came after our first front row qualification for the year. It shows just how much we’ve progressed in the development of the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and Leon was able to show what it was capable of today. Everyone in the team is continuing to work hard and with Leon starting on pole position for Race 2, we feel we can achieve another strong result tomorrow. For Jake this was his toughest day of the season so far. It is a new circuit for him and things in the race weren’t a true reflection of his pace here this weekend and he had a couple of small crashes. However, tomorrow is another opportunity and I am sure he can bring it back and add to his points tally for the season.”

RACE 2 – Solid sixth place for Camier in Thai WorldSBK 
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Leon Camier capped off a strong showing in Thailand with a sixth place finish at Chang International Circuit, while Jake Gagne was back in the points after taking fourteenth place on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.

Camier started on pole position in Race 2 courtesy of his fourth place in Race 1 and although he got the holeshot and led into the first corner, a fierce battle in the lead group resulted in him ending the first lap in P5. Showing consistent pace throughout the race, Camier was embroiled in the fight for the top five with Jonathan Rea and Xavi Forés and although he closed in on Forés in the final laps, he ultimately finished in sixth place.

Leon Camier

Leon Camier

Bouncing back after a tough Race 1, Gagne had a strong start and in the opening exchanges fought his way up to ninth position. As the contest entered the final stages, Gagne found himself caught up in a five way battle for the top ten and despite a valiant final push was unable to make up positions and ended the race in P14.

After two rounds Camier is eighth in the WorldSBK standings on 42 points, while Gagne is sixteenth overall with 9 points. The series now heads to Europe where the Red Bull World Superbike Team will contest the Aragon WorldSBK round on April 13-15.

Honda Rider Comments

Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: Race 2 / 6th
“The start of the race was great, I got the holeshot and led into the first corner and although the bike was very strong in the turns and under brakes, there was a small issue which made it difficult to defend against the other riders in the leading group. I still managed to keep a good pace and sixth place was the best I could do today. Overall I’m happy with how we performed this weekend as we were able to make some good steps to improve the Fireblade’s performance.”

Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: Race 2 / 14th
“I got a good start to the race and for the first few laps found myself making up positions and I felt really good. In the second half of the race I was lacking a bit of feel with the brakes which meant I ran wide in a few corners and at that point I just tried to maintain my rhythm and bring home the bike in the points. It was a challenging weekend overall, but I learned a lot, improved my pace and scored some more points so we can take a lot of positives out of this weekend.”

Jake Gagne

Jake Gagne

Kervin Bos – Team Manager
“Race 2 today was another solid team performance with both riders finishing in the points, but we perhaps struggled a bit more with the hot conditions today than some other teams. It was great to see Leon again fighting with the top group and to be in the battle for the top five in both races was very positive and represents a big step in performance at this circuit compared to last year. For his first time at Chang International Circuit, Jake had a challenging weekend but in today’s race he showed his potential again running in the top ten during the race, so it’s another valuable learning experience for him. It’s another step in the right direction for us and puts us in good shape ahead of the next round at Aragon.”

World Superbike and World Supersport 2018

Round 02: Chang International Circuit – Thailand

Superbike Race 1

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2 Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team)
3 Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
4 Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
5 Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
6 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
17 Patrick Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)
18 Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)

Superbike Race 2

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2 Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
3 Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
4 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
5 Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team)
6 Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
10 Patrick Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)
14 Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)

Supersport

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Randy KRUMMENACHER (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
2 Lucas MAHIAS (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
3 Federico CARICASULO (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
4 Sandro CORTESE (Kallio Racing)
5 Thitipong WAROKORN (CORE Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team)
6 Anthony WEST (EAB antwest Racing)
9 Niki TUULI (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
17 Hannes SOOMER (Racedays)
20 Andrew IRWIN (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
21 Jaimie VAN SIKKELERUS (GEMAR Team Lorini)
RT Kyle SMITH (GEMAR Team Lorini)