Donington BSB: Leon Camier dominates free practice
Airwaves Yamaha's Leon Camier dominated the opening two free practice sessions at Donington Park on Saturday lapping over three tenths of a second quicker than his nearest challenger, teammate James Ellison.
Camier was the only rider to dip under the 1m32s barrier, setting a lap of 1m31.977s on his 11th of 22 laps to lead Ellison by 0.357s, an onimous sign for the rest of the field with championship leader Camier having already won three of the first four races this season.
Ellison, who suffered a technical problem in the morning session and could only post 8 laps, regrouped to give Colin Wright’s team plenty of cheer with a 1-2 on the day and he was just ahead of Simon Andrews, the MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider continuing the strong form he had showed at Oulton Park. With the bike now fitted with the full Magnetti Marelli electronics package, Andrews is rapidly becoming a leading contender and could well be the fly in the Airwaves ointment come race day.
Josh Brookes, riding at a circuit he knows well from his World Supersport days, showed his true colours on the HM Plant Honda and posted the fourth fastest time whilst Chris Walker continued his steady improvement on the Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha in fifth. Sylvain Guintoli could only manage 7th place, 0.654s adrift of the pace setting Camier whilst the Hydrex Honda’s of Stuart Easton and Karl Harris also found themselves in uncustomary 8th and 13th places, the latter named suffering with greabox problems throughout the session.
Graeme Gowland, returning from a broken collarbone, ended up 17th on the second Henderson/Motorpoint Yamaha whilst Tristan Palmer had to sit out the entire 50-minute session, his Buildbase Kawasaki having blown an engine in the morning.
Superbike – overall times for Saturday
1 Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) – 1m31.977s
2 James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) – 1m32.334s
3 Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) – 1m32.439s
4 Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) – 1m32.504s
5 Chris Walker (Motorpoint/Henderson Yamaha) – 1m32.520s
6 Glen Richards (HM Plant Honda) – 1m32.538s
7 Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Suzuki) – 1m32.631s
8 Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) – 1m32.829s
9 John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) – 1m32.857s
10 Ian Lowry (Relentless by TAS Suzuki) – 1m33.089s
After parting company with Michael Rutter at the beginning of the week, the North West 200 Coca Cola Zero team had reasons to be cheerful on Saturday when Dan Linfoot topped the times in the British Supersport Championship sessions. The 20-year old ended up 0.145s ahead of North West 200 double race winner Steve Plater with championship leader Billy McConnell in third.
Supersport – overall times for Saturday
1 Dan Linfoot (NW200 Coca Cola Zero Yamaha) – 1m34.800s
2 Steve Plater (HM Plant Honda) – 1m35.025s
3 Billy McConnell (Raceways Yamaha) – 1m35.209s
4 Craig Fitzpatrick (BLDS Yamaha) – 1m35.504s
5 Sam Lowes (Astro Racing Honda) – 1m35.571s
6 Hudson Kennaugh (Linxcel-Seton Tuning Yamaha) – 1m35.627s
7 Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) – 1m35.649s
8 Tom Grant (Centurion Racing) – 1m35.708s
9 Paul Young (TAG Triumph) – 1m35.800s
10 Allan Jon Venter (Raceways Yamaha) – 1m36.220s