Leon Camier clinched the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli as he headed off the challenge of his Airwaves Yamaha team-mate James Ellison to win the first of the two races in the penultimate round at Silverstone.
But the newly crowned champion denied himself the chance of winning double when he ran wide next time out while duelling for the lead, dropping back to ninth, only to charge through the pack and take second place to Ellison.
Earlier, in the opening 20 lapper at the Northamptonshire circuit, Ellison had made the break, leading until the penultimate lap, as he held off the fierce challenges coming in from Camier. Twice at the chicane, Camier had nosed ahead, but then run wide, with Ellison regaining the initiative.
Then, on the charge into Bridge, Camier pulled off the decisive move, sweeping ahead and taking the race by 0.244secs to chalk up victory number 17 of a dominant campaign that gave the GSE team, entrants of the Airwaves bikes their fifth title in seven years.
“That was the hardest race of the season – ridiculous as I was out of shape at times, pushing the bike so hard. The front was out of line, it was tough, but in the end well worth it,” said Camier.
“I knew that James would be strong but I didn’t expect him to be that good – he was so difficult to pass. I tried at the chicane, twice, but it didn’t come off. He was braking late and I couldn’t get him.
“I was struggling to stop, there was no grip, and the bike didn’t want to turn, so it was a case of being a bit patient and not making any mistakes. It was a case of trying to work out where I could take him and going into Bridge I just kept the gas and lunged for it – it came off. Job done.”
“I’m over the moon with the title – I thought it was not going to happen in that race, but now I have a massive debt to everyone who has got me here today,” added Camier.
Ellison held second ahead of the HM Plant of Josh Brookes with Stuart Easton on the Hydrex Honda fourth from his team-mate Tommy Hill with Buildbase Kawasaki’s John Laverty sixth.
Easton made the break as the second race re-started – an oil spill on the opening lap that saw four riders tumble brought out the red-flags – with Brookes, Ellison and Camier pressing hard.
Camier was soon through into second place, but as he tried to take Easton he ran wide, losing places and dropping back to ninth place, prompting a determined charge back into contention. Ellison meanwhile was on the attack, grabbing the lead on the seventh lap, en-route to his fourth victory of the season and soon Brookes was closing in on second place.
Camier however beat the HM Plant Honda rider to it, carving through, taking Brookes, then with four laps remaining moving second from Easton who lost the final podium spot to Brookes at the last corner.
Tommy Bridewell, riding the NB Suzuki, completed a daily double in the Mirror.co.uk Cup ahead of first the champion Gary Mason on the Quay Garage Honda and then Peter Hickman on the Ultimate Racing Yamaha. Alastair Seeley ran tenth in the second race aboard the ‘Evo’ class Relentless Suzuki.
Results – round 11
Race one – 20 laps
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) 28m 55.092secs
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) +0.244s
James Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +8.837s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +9.164s
Tommy Hill (Hydrex Honda) +18.278s
John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +18.787s
Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +18.33s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +22.408s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +22.921s
Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +24.682s
Race two – 18 laps
James Ellison (Airwaves Yamaha) 26m 02.765secs
Leon Camier (Airwaves Yamaha) +1.200s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +3.783s
Stuart Easton (Hydrex Honda) +3.974s
Tommy Hill (Hydrex Honda) +9.774s
Julien Da Costa (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +11.099s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +14.340s
Sylvain Guintoli (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +16.148s
Ian Lowry (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +21.434s
Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS Evo) +23.963s
Leon Camier 479.5 (Champion)
James Ellison 380
Stuart Easton 329