WSB: Camier disappointment confirms major Honda progress

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Leon Camier may have left Thailand disappointed to have missed the podium with fourth and sixth positions in this weekend’s two races, but the results are a huge success for the Red Bull Honda Team as they continue to progress after a difficult 2017 season.   

Working his magic on the Honda in the same way he did the MV, 31-year-old Camier is further cementing his ability as a superb development rider as well as a quick and consistent racer. His front row qualifying position was the first with the new Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 and the first for Honda since the late Nicky Hayden started second at Losail in 2016.

After such a strong weekend, the British racer had set his sights on a podium but found he was still struggling to match his rivals on the straights.  

“From the reverse grid pole I got the hole shot and thought, ‘Game on, we’re having it!’” Camier laughed. “Cornering and braking were fantastic and the chassis was working a lot better in the two technical sectors, but we had an issue on the straights. If we could match people on power we could be strong, but we can’t at the moment.”

Despite a planned switch to Magneti Marelli electronics, the Ten Kate squad continue to run their Cosworth ECU and MCN understands they will continue to do so in Aragon and Assen.

They recently tested with Marelli at Monteblanco in Spain and another test looms at Assen. Once the change is made, performance will initially drop as engineers learn to operate the new system as well as adapt it to the bike.

However, the team feel there is more scope in the long-run with Marelli, which is already raced by sister team Triple M, which picked up its best result with PJ Jacobsen cracking the top ten in Sunday’s second race. 

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Greg Haines

By Greg Haines

Superbike reporter and Eurosport commentator