MotoGP champ Casey Stoner helps Leon Camier's recovery

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MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner is proving an invaluable ally in Leon Camier's bid to regain full fitness ahead of the new British superbike campaign.

Factory Ducati rider Stoner has become Camier's training partner for the last four weeks, with Camier spending the last two months in Australia recuperating from the horrific left leg injuries he suffered last August at Cadwell Park.

Camier, who will partner Shane Byrne in a new-look Airwaves Ducati squad in 2008, shattered his left femur and suffered a cracked pelvis when he suffered a sickening crash at the Mountain during last year's Cadwell BSB meeting.

Camier has been using the Australian summer to build up his fitness before his Airwaves Ducati debut in Almeria on February 25 in Almeria.

Having arrived in Australia on December 8, he first spent two weeks training with Josh Brookes and Camier has stepped up his training since he arrived at Stoner's home on Christmas Eve.

Stoner and Camier have been friends since the 2007 world champion first broke onto the international racing scene when he contested the British 125 championship back in 2001.

On the first day of the Phillip Island test this week, Camier and Stoner completed a brisk 15-miles training ride to and from the circuit to their hotel.

Watching Stoner test the new factory GP8 in Phillip Island, Camier told MCN: "I'm just trying to get fit again. I spent a few weeks with Josh Brookes doing some cycling and then spent most of my time over here with Casey trying to get as fit as possible and get my leg back to how it should be.

"I've been mates with Casey for years since he first came to England and I was speaking with him and I'd been telling him I was going to come over for years. So I finally got round to it.

"It's been good for my motivation to be training with the MotoGP world and champion and trying to keep up with the little shit. Casey is really fit as well and really good on a push bike and its good for me to be pushing myself with him.

"I was really happy because the first or second time we went training, Casey has got this big 5k hill out the back of his house and the first ride we did I beat his trainer up. I even beat Casey once when he started cramping up at the end.

Usually I'm doing 60 to 100ks a day on the bike. We do that as often as we can and that's the main thing, though sometimes we might go to the gym."

Camier still walks with a slight limp after the Cadwell horror crash, but is confident with physiotherapy that he will regain 100 per cent balance when he returns to the UK on February 9.

"I still take the brunt of the cycling on my right leg, but walking needs to be a little bit better because I'm still a little bit unbalanced but I think I'll be strong enough.

"Cycling has been my main training but for the first time the other day I started running up some sand dunes. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. There was not much impact on sand so it wasn't too bad. It was good to get my muscles burning.

"When I get back to England I'll spend a week in Bournemouth with my physio and trainer and try to get it more balanced. The limp should go 100 per cent. It's just where the muscle around my hip is lacking on that side. There's nothing really there" said Camier, who is confident that when he returns to the track in Spain next month, he will be able to make an instant return to form.

"I'm confident I'll be able to pick up where I left off. When I'm bending down and moving around the leg feels pretty good because I had some ligament damage in the knee, but the more the muscle builds up around it hopefully that will support it.

"I'm, confident I'll be back to 100 per cent. I had a go on a 150 at Casey's because he's got a dirt track in his backyard. I had a little go but nothing major. I want to do some more riding to get some more upper body strength back, " added Camier, who can't wait to begin his new career with the Airwaves Ducati squad.

He said: "Obviously the goal is to win the championship. My first impressions of the team are absolutely awesome. I've said it a lot, but they have always got the best out of their riders and a lot of riders have gone there and just got stronger.

"The team can obviously teach you a lot and I think it will be a big but good learning curve. When I first went to meet the team they just welcomed me so much and it made me really want to be there which is an awesome feeling and how it should be. I just want to get my career back on track."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt