Team Suzuki Press Office – July 17.
The 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship will reach this season’s half-way point this weekend as the FIXI Crescent Suzuki squad heads to Russia for the eighth round of this year’s series.
Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel will be at the Moscow Raceway for only the second time in the history of World Superbike, with the pair looking to continue with the rise in competitiveness from the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R. Camier took a pair of seventh place finishes last time out at Imola and will be looking to push on with the form at the Moscow Raceway in 2012; that saw him take a spirited fifth place after starting from 18th on the grid. Cluzel tasted success at the Russian circuit last season as he secured Pole Position at the 3,931m track and followed that up on race-day to take second place. He will be looking to find some of that form as he makes his Superbike debut in Russia.
The track is located approximately 100kms from Moscow, along the Novorizhsky Highway and the circuit is built on a slope, which allows its layout to follow the natural terrain. There are 17 corners throughout the configuration and a number of uphill and downhill sections which offer a mixture of fast and slow sections, as well as one of the longest straights (one kilometre in length) in the championship. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke and opened in 2012 following a cost in the region of €130 million to build the facility.
Camier, Cluzel and the rest of the WSB field will take to the track on Friday morning for the first free practice session, before competing in the opening qualifying practice in the afternoon. Saturday morning will have a second qualifying session to confirm riders that will progress towards Superpole. Sunday’s first race – to be held over 25-laps- is scheduled for 12.00hrs local time (09.00hrs BST), with the second event set to get underway at 15.30hrs local time (12.30hrs BST).
“Moscow is a tough and demanding track; it’s like Imola in that way although quite a different layout. We found a couple of things at the test and it will be good to try them out over a race weekend and hopefully we won’t encounter the chatter problems as we did in Italy. We still need to make small detailed steps with the bike, and I need to make sure I am at the top of my game. We have found a couple of positive improvements but we still need a bit more to challenge for the podium, so we will be looking to make further improvements throughout the weekend and maximise our potential.”
“I am looking forward to going to Moscow, because the last race weekend at Imola was a bit of a disaster for me and I need to put that behind me and start working again in the best way for us. We did some stuff at the test after the last race and learned what we can do with the bike and also what we can possibly do as the season continues. I think we will try to make as few changes as possible this weekend, because my riding needs to improve, so that I can make the most out of the bike that I have at the moment. I had a Pole and second in the race in Moscow last year and I had a good feeling at the track. I believe it will be a better place from me and I think that I will really enjoy riding the FIXI Crescent Suzuki Superbike there.”