Crash.Net WSBK News
Injured Camier describes 'weird' Aragon fall
23 April 2013 By Neil Morrison
Leon Camier suffered a gruesome injury to his left knee after a frightening highside during Friday afternoon's practice session at the second World Superbike round in Aragon.
The damage put a frustrated Camier out of the weekend's proceedings and has left him sweating on his fitness for the upcoming races at the Dutch circuit of Assen this weekend.
The accident happened at the fast, downhill turn ten and caused the session to be stopped. Camier was immediately taken to hospital and operated on that evening by local doctors.
Although still in visible discomfort, the Fixi Crescent Suzuki star was able to recall the events in Aragon to Crash.net
before heading home to begin his rapid recuperation process.
“Yeah, I remember exactly what happened. Basically we had changed the set up a bit. It was the first time we used the medium/hard tyre and I went out and put in a few quick laps. The lap I was on was even quicker apparently.
“Just as I went into that bottom left hand corner, I could feel the tyre going off but I wasn't concerned thinking it was dangerous, just it was moving around a bit. I was aware of it, so there was no worries or anything. I turned it in and just touched the gas. As I touched the gas it came round and went once and then went a second time. It was a bit weird. I wasn't expecting anything.”
The sudden and unexpected nature of the incident led the team to assess the possible causes. With team-mate Jules Cluzel having tried the same tyre earlier in the session and refused to complete a lap on it, Camier felt it might have been one factor that contributed to the 'weird' incident.
“I don't want to blame the tyre but Jules went out on it and did a few corners, didn't even do a lap, and just came straight into the pits. But that wasn't the case for me because I did a few laps on it and it felt all right. But for it to let go like that was not normal.
“I don't think it was the tyre. I think it was just one of them things with the circumstances and situation. [It was] just a little weird.”
The incident was all the more frustrating as Camier had been circulating inside the top five throughout Friday's two sessions, at a track Suzuki had previously struggled at. The time he posted just before his fall was a full six tenths of a second under his fastest race lap from last year.
“We had some good sessions. We weren't expecting miracles at [Aragon], as I don't think it suits our package the best. But places like Assen, we are hoping for a bit better. Obviously we weren't expecting much on some tracks after that, just some better results. I just wanted a smooth weekend where we had no big dramas and I could concentrate on riding.”
Camier now faces an anxious race against time to be fit in time for the third round at Assen. The initial risk of infection has subsided and although he has retrieved around forty percent movement in the joint, his condition still needs to be assessed before his participation at the event can be confirmed.
When looking back upon the accident, Camier does however feel his injury could have been worse.
“Considering the size of the crash we had - and I took all the impact on that one knee - it's actually not that bad. What happened was the bone pushed through the capsule and that broke. Then it went through the skin, which was terrible and it was all exposed. And the problem is when the capsule broke it can be dangerous as it can lead to infection. The leg is massive at the minute and obviously has a lot of swelling.
“It was quite a long operation for what it was really, they were just trying to clean it and get all the stuff out of it. I've done a bit of ligament damage and one of the ligaments broke and came off. So they put that back on and put the capsule back together and put the stitching back on.”
Despite admitting his “frustration and disappointment” at the layoff, Camier believes the GSX-R1000 has shown enough improvement to look towards the rest of the season with optimism.
“We had a problem in Australia in the race, and in testing we were going really strong, but it looked like we could have a strong weekend [at Aragon]. We came here testing and my times were strong which I managed without a problem. I think it goes to show you that when everything's sorted we can be ok.”