FIXI Crescent Suzuki Set for Laguna Seca 2013
World Superbike - Monterey, CA
FIXI Crescent Suzuki has crossed the Atlantic to head to Laguna Seca in America for the 12th round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend as the event returns to the Californian circuit after a nine-year absence.
Jules Cluzel is heading to the 3,610m track for the second time, but the first was just as a holiday-maker, so when he arrives at the American venue it will be the first time he has ridden on the technical and demanding circuit. Cluzel hopes to learn this difficult and physical circuit quickly and aims to put into practice what he learnt last time out at Istanbul about the performance of the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R.
As previously announced, Cluzel will be joined at Laguna Seca by 2012 AMA Superbike Championship Runner-up Blake Young, who is stepping in as a replacement for Leon Camier. The 26-year-old American has a good knowledge of the circuit, having raced there many times in his career. He will be looking to put this knowledge to good use as he learns how to ride a World Superbike at this unique circuit. Young is standing-in for Camier after the Englishman's crash in Turkey left him hospitalised and in need of an operation to repair seven broken bones in his right foot. Camier was initially released from hospital following a successful operation, but due to an adverse reaction to the anaesthetic, he was re-admitted and spent a number of days recuperating in the Anadolu hospital in Istanbul. He is now out of facility and is back home in Andorra to begin a full recovery process in a bid to be fit for the last race of the season in October.
The Laguna Seca circuit is situated about 160kms south of San Francisco near the towns of Monterey and Seaside, just a few kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. The area was originally a field artillery target range and manoeuvre site belonging to the US Army and the circuit is actually built on a dried-up lake. It is the shortest lap distance on the calendar and the anti-clockwise layout features 11 corners - four right and seven left - including the 'Rainey Curve' and the 'Andretti Hairpin' as well as probably one of the most incredible turns on any racetrack in the world: the famous 'Corkscrew' which is a left and right combination with a steep drop in elevation, where the riders feel like they are falling off the end of a cliff after reaching the turn by a blind crest on an uphill approach.
The American round of World Superbike takes-on a completely new schedule which will see the races run on two days rather than the usual one. The action begins at Laguna on Friday with a 45-minute practice session followed by two qualifying periods in the afternoon to decide the riders that will make Superpole. Saturday will have another free practice and then Superpole to get the grid positions for the first race which will set-off at 14.00hrs local time (21.00hrs BST). Sunday's race will also be a 26-lap affair - the same as Saturday - and will also get underway at 14.00hrs local time (21.00hrs GMT).
"I'm looking forward to the next race in Laguna; I've been there before, but it was just for a holiday. It's a really nice place and very beautiful and feels much different to Europe. I really like the area and I'm going to California early to spend a few days with friends and head up to see Troy Lee Designs; they have done me a special helmet for the race so I can't wait to see that! I don't know much about the track, but it looks great on TV and video games - the Corkscrew looks easy on a video game, but I know it's not! I do know it's a bumpy track and not very large or wide, unlike some of the ones we get in Europe. I am glad the race has come along quickly because I love to ride and can't wait to get out there. I learned a lot about how the bike behaves in Turkey, so I want to use that data and see how we can improve further. I'd like to welcome Blake to the team and wish him all the best for the weekend; hopefully he'll be able to help me with his knowledge of the circuit and if I can help him in any way then I will."
"I still can't believe I've been given this opportunity and I can't wait to get on the bike. There will be a few new things with the World Superbike that I will have to learn and adapt to quickly, but for the most part the Suzuki GSX-R will be a familiar home to me and one that I can hopefully settle back into very quickly. I'm really excited about the weekend ahead. I've always had pretty good success with the GSX-R1000 and Suzuki and I'm looking forward to getting back out at Laguna and seeing all the fans! Once again a big thank you to the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team for this opportunity."
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