Portimao WorldSBK test: Camier cautious despite blistering pace
Red Bull Honda’s Leon Camier set a strong 1’41.623 lap on the final day of WorldSBK testing at Portimao but was not as delighted by his rapid progress as you may have imagined.
“We had a Q tyre to do the lap time, obviously, but on race tyre we need to make a step, I feel. We never got a good run, so there is more in there than what I did, but on a race tyre I did a 1’42.8, in the morning today,” Camier told bikesportnews.com at the track.
“I reckon I can get a little bit off of that, but we need to make a step on a race tyre. It is a work in progress.”
Camier used his machines with 2017 Cosworth electronics fitted as his team do not yet have all the necessary parts to make a full switch to Magneti Marelli – and when they will make the jump is still not decided.
“We do not know yet. PJ has been running Marelli on his bike, Jake never got the chance to try it. I think we will sit down tonight and make a plan on what’s what. We will see. For me, the Cosworth is working all right and if we are going to be a while in Phillip Island messing around with it, it is probably not ideal.
“We need to get it to a point where we are ready to go, and then put it on the bike. I, sort of, don’t want to be wasting time developing it over race weekends. We need to trying to be fast anyway and there are things I still want to be improve on the chassis and keep figuring out that, and the electronics will just take that away. I think there are more priority things at the minute to work on.”
After two tests in Jerez, and coming to a different track, Camier found some of the same issues at the asphalt rollercoaster of Portimao as he did at the much flatter and less intense Jerez.
“There are still similar problems from Jerez to here, on what I want to work on. Turning and turning on the gas is the biggest thing. From what I understand, we are having to sort of compensate some chassis stuff, to help with other problems, like with a bit of wheelie and stuff like that.
“I think that later on, in a few races time hopefully we get some different parts, we should be able to have a bit more of a balance with the bike, Instead of being so extreme to try and help to stop the wheelying, we are waiting for another aerodynamic package as well. Then when that is helping them maybe we can sort of change the chassis a little bit more to help with turning and getting the bike to do what I want to do.
“There is some stuff coming hopefully for Australia, which will help the bike in turning too. We are all moving in that direction. But the Kawasakis, it is ridiculous at the minute. I think Johnny might have done that time on a race tyre. He is in a different game, more than ever. We are in the group behind but at the back of that group at the minute. We need to find ourselves at the front of that group to be in with a podium shout.”