BSB’s Defining moments: 9

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9. Best bike

Without a doubt the Airwaves Yamaha R1 was the bike to beat in BSB 2009.

It may have been down on power compared to its rivals and was very physical to ride but for Leon Camier got his head around how to get the best out of it from the first race and ran away from the pack.

Incredibly he won on the bike when it had a virtually stock engine and braced stock swing-arm at Brands and he still won on it when they had a factory engine – but turned the revs down by as much as 2000rpm, to ensure longevity.

Team-mate James Ellison took longer to adapt but he eventually got the hang of it and posted some great results too – but the same could not be said for Chris Walker and Graeme Gowland in the privateer Motorpoint Yamaha R1s.

But in many ways it was the Hydrex Honda deserving the accolade of maybe not ‘best bike’ but certainly ‘best true superbike’.

Developed from a stock roadster, in house by a privateer team, in the true spirit of superbike competition, the Blade wasn’t miles away in terms of lap time compared to the hyper-expensive Airwaves R1s, had great top speed, turned well and was reliable.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin