Camier splits with Barni Ducati WSBK team

Rachit Thukral

Camier was due to make his debut with the privateer Ducati team this year, having been dropped by the factory Honda squad after an injury-ridden 2019 season.

But the British rider suffered another set of injuries during winter testing at MotorLand Aragon, fracturing both his wrist and shoulder. 

Although he attempted to take part in the opening round of the season at Phillip Island in February and completed 13 laps in FP2, he was subsequently declared unfit and sat out the rest of the weekend.

The coronavirus-induced season hiatus has allowed the 33-year-old to recover from his injuries, but both he and the outfit felt he needed more time away from the track to be 100% fit. 

Fitness is expected to play a big role in the 2020 season, with seven rounds scheduled between early August and mid-October, before the season finale in November.

Barni is yet to announce a replacement for Camier, who is now set to miss a WSBK season for the first time since joining the grid in since 2010.

"It's a very unfortunate situation for both the team and me. 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.

"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.

Marco Barnabo added: "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."