Leon Camier risks losing WorldSBK ride over lingering injury woes?

Even several months out of action wasn't enough for Leon Camier to heal sufficiently from his long-running shoulder injury woes

Leon Camier

Leon Camier could be forced to give up his ride in the 2020 WorldSBK Championship as the lingering effects of a long-running shoulder injury refuse to go away.

The Briton first suffered the injury more than a year ago in a crash at Imola when he struck the stricken Yamaha of a rival that had fallen directly ahead of him.

After a long spell out, Camier returned to action for the final few events and showed glimpses of strong form, enough to land a deal with top privateer Barni Racing for the 2020 WorldSBK season on a Ducati Panigale V4 R.

However, another fall in post-season testing aggravated the injury, forcing him to undergo another surgery on December 24th. He returned to the saddle in the run up to the Phillip Island opener, only to withdraw on the eve of the event when it became clear he didn’t have the fitness to compete.

Since then Camier has benefitted from the long break between races due to the coronavirus, while Barni have even reconfigured the bike to be more comfortable for the lanky Englishman.

Alas, this week’s return to testing at Misano revealed the injury is still holding him back as he lapped 3.5secs off the pace.

“The shoulder has had a lot of rest in the last months and seemed all fine. I didn’t have any issue with it riding Supermotard or Trials in the last weeks. Not sure whether it’s the position in combination with the obvious strong braking force on a Superbike or something else. 

“I can ride the bike and do sort of OK lap time wise but I’m so disappointed not to be able to ride at my – and the bike’s - full potential. Also feel bad for Barni and the guys, they’re a bunch of great hard-working guys and even now they continue to stick with me. Something is not right and I’m going to check with the doctor immediately to know what’s going on.”

Leon Camier to be replaced in Barni Ducati team?

Unfortunately for Camier, Barni Racing team principal Marco Barnabo has hinted the persistent issues could force the team to consider a different path when racing eventually resumes on 31 July – 2 August in Jerez.

“The whole team and I strongly believe in the path we decided to undertake with Leon, and, during this break, we have always believed that the rider could be 100% physically ready at the restart of the season. 

“At that time, doctors assured us that the rider would have been ready to race and Leon did not have any pain during the training sessions. However, when he took the track in Misano he realized he could not ride as he knows. For this reason we decided to consult the doctors once again to get the full picture of Leon’s situation.”