Camier out of Portimao WorldSBK, Takumi Takahashi to ride Honda

Honda's Leon Camier is set to miss a sixth World Superbike Championship round in succession after failing to recover from injury in time for Portimao WorldSBK

Leon Camier - Honda Moriwaki Althea

Leon Camier’s protracted absence from the World Superbike Championship will continue beyond the summer hiatus after it was confirmed he won’t be on the Moriwaki Althea Honda in Portimao.

The 2009 British Superbike Champion has not turned a competitive wheel since May 11 during the fifth WorldSBK round at Imola when a crash during free practice – caused when Sandro Cortese fell in front of him and left him with nowhere to go - left him nursing a serious shoulder injury. 

It means Camier had already sat out five rounds prior to the six week summer break, where it was hoped he’d have time to recover to ride in the Portimao test last week and then the Portuguese race weekend on September 6-8.

However, Honda says he is still recovering from surgery to his shoulder ligaments in July and needs a little longer to continue his convalescence with a view to returning at the following event at Magny-Cours in late September.

Having run just a single Honda for Ryuichi Kiyonari at Donington Park and Laguna Seca, the team will return to a two-man outfit with Takumi Takahashi called up again to ride the Honda CBR1000RR for the first time. 

The Japanese rider started four races for Honda in 2017 in place of the injured Stefan Bradl. His namesake Yuki Takahashi replaced Camier at Jerez and Misano earlier in the season.

What next for Leon Camier?

A rider beset by various injury problems over the years, the latest setback for Camier is, however, arguably his worst. Moreover, the prolonged injury timeout comes at a bad time for him to convince either Honda to let him stay or appeal to a rival team. 

A record-breaking BSB winner now ten years ago, Camier has never quite had the material or opportunity to really flourish on the world stage as many expected, though he is well respected by those in the know in the paddock.

What could benefit Camier though is Honda is set to swell to four bikes next season, with the current Moriwaki Althea team transitioning to satellite status alongside the incoming HRC factory effort, which has already signed Alvaro Bautista.

Honda – and Moriwaki in particular – rate Camier highly, but with Kiyonari reportedly on a two-year deal and Alessandro Delbianco on the Althea payroll, the Briton will have limited time to prove himself when he does eventually return to action.