WSB: Leon Camier and Barni Racing split ahead of season restart
Leon Camier has parted ways with the Barni Racing Team by mutual consent due to his ongoing injury concerns.
Camier missed the opening three races of the year at Phillip Island because of his shoulder injury, with the 33-year-old only managing to complete 13 laps in the second free practice session.
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The extended break gave Camier a chance to recover but following on from the Misano test, both rider and team felt he needed more time to get back to back to 100% fitness.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation for both the team and me," Camier explains. "I want to be fair to Barni, he’s a great guy with lots of passion and he believed in me end of last year despite me coming back from injury. Like a bad twist of fate, I again picked up a shoulder injury – not the same as last year but a different issue – crashing on the Ducati last year during testing in Aragon.
“Barni stuck with me 100% and in Phillip Island he never put pressure on me to ride and put my health as a first priority when it was too early to come back. During the off-time due to the Covid-19 situation, I gave the shoulder the rest it needed and as always in close consultation with my doctors, I re-started training and got my body fitness at the highest level again. I didn’t really feel the shoulder anymore, also rode supermotard without any problem. But at the Misano test end of June again I started to feel the shoulder."
The coronavirus pandemic played havoc with the WSB calendar and the riders now face a gruelling campaign. In the space of two months there will be six WSB rounds, with three races at each event.
“According to the medical experts, the situation now is different than before, there seems to be no structural problem like last year," Camier added. "I am continuing doing tests and it seems just a nerve or muscle is trapped, and it is expected it can be solved by dedicated physiotherapy. My doctor is confident that all can be fine for Jerez, but I can understand it’s difficult for the team and their sponsors to again have trust in a medical opinion while in the last seventh months the prediction wasn’t accurate.
“We have found a mutual agreement for a settlement that gives the team the opportunity to enter a replacement rider and me the opportunity to focus on a full recovery without the time pressure of a next upcoming test or race. How unfortunate it may be, injuries are part of our sport, I wish Barni and the guys all the best. For me, it’s time to get fully fit again.”
After missing six rounds of the 2019 World Superbike Championship through injury, Camier then injured his shoulder and broke his wrist at the Aragon test in November. The Aragon test marked his debut for the Barni Racing team.
As a result of this injury Camier missed the two-day Portimao test and opted to have surgery in December.
Barni Racing's team principal, Marco Barnabo, said: “For the good of the team, but also to protect the health of the rider, we decided to part ways. As Barni Racing Team we have always believed that Leon was competitive, and we think he will be again. We waited for him, and we did everything we could to put him in a condition to show the real potential of both the bike and the rider, but with such a tight race schedule we couldn't take more risks.
"This choice protects the interests of the team and all the people who work on it and gives also the rider plenty of time to get 100% fit. I am convinced that Leon can get through this period and come back soon to show his talent.”
The team have not yet revealed who will replace Camier, however Marco Melandri has been linked with the ride.