Shaina Salvia A. S.:

Hello Leon, how are you today?

Leon Camier:

I’m very good thanks, and you?

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

I’m very good, I have some questions for you. Starting with a bit of a flashback, what was behind your decision to move to Honda and what is the difference between your old bike and the Honda?

Leon Camier:

The decision to go with Honda was not an easy decision as they were struggling quite a lot last year with results. We had been speaking throughout the year and looking at 2018 and the decision came by seeing more potential with the Honda and for the future, I thought it could be a better package to be on the podium and try to win races. They were making a lot of changes with the team set-up and the way the bike was working which I think was a good decision because when I first got on the bike and instantly felt comfortable.

The bike, technically, is still an inline four cylinder but the chassis is very different [compared to MV Agusta] so the feeling from the bike is very different. But it is still a motorbike so we have to push as hard as we can and go as fast as we can. It has been going okay this season and we had good testing, the first round was pretty good and then round two in Thailand was even better but then Aragon obviously didn’t go so good.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

So you got along so well with Honda at the first tests, how did you do to get that?

Leon Camier:

We started with Nicky Hayden’s settings and made myself comfortable in terms of positioning with the bars and foot pegs. We didn’t change too much from the base settings but we kept improving and kept figuring things out with the suspension and the way we wanted the geometry. The bike is not a lot different than when Nicky had it, just a few little things. For me the setting works good and I am comfortable with the bike so we keep improving all the time.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

After you decided to try to race at Imola after your crash at Aragon, what did you feel after FP1 and FP2 before deciding to stop? Also, how is your recovery and what did the doctors say?

Leon Camier:

It is quite complicated, the doctors away from the track said it was impossible to ride but they always say it is impossible to ride, every time you have a little injury they say no. I was feeling better and better every day but I still thought it would be a tough task to ride here [at Imola]. I wasn’t that confident I could ride. We got here and the doctors said I could try the first session, I tried the first session, and it didn’t go too badly to be honest as the lap time was okay but I put in the new tyre at the end and made a mistake crashing at the Variante Alta.

I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t ride properly and it wasn’t safe to do so as I was making little mistakes everywhere and couldn’t change direction or brake properly. There was too much pain and I couldn’t physically do it – I wasn’t strong enough – but we tried for the second session and I tried a longer run to see if I could do 10 laps to see how I felt but I couldn’t even do that. I couldn’t breathe properly and it was impossible.

The plan is to come back for Donington Park which is only two weeks away and it is going to be tight for Donington.

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CrashTV: 

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

I hope you feel better for then.

Leon Camier:

Yes, thanks, me too. We’ll see!

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

Suzuka 8 hours is an important event, do you have any plans to ride there?

Leon Camier:

That is a good question. There is talk of me riding the Suzuka 8 Hours but nothing is confirmed yet. There is interest from them and I am interested but no contracts have been signed and no agreements have been made to do the race. From what I understand HRC are making a proper team again and they want to win the race so it will be big pressure if I do.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

Throughout your career who has inspired you the most?

Leon Camier:

I think my dad gave me the passion for bikes from when he used to race. When I was less than three years old I wanted a motorbike and my dad said when I could ride a bike without stabilisers he would buy me a bike, so I took the stabilisers off and rode the bike and then I got a motorbike! So yes, it is a big passion from the family and as I was growing up the likes of Troy Bayliss, Carl Fogarty, Mick Doohan were the ones I used to watch and they were my heroes.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

I admire all racers because they have the spirit to never give up even when they fall. What are the things you most like about racing and what are things you don’t like?

Leon Camier:

There is a lot of politics, more than you can imagine, that is probably the thing I don’t like and a lot of commitments away from racing which sometimes dilutes what you are here for. It is not all about being as fast as possible, there are some other things that take away your attention a little bit. But that is part of the job and the same for everyone.

The thing I love about it is everything, pretty much! Everyone is there trying to beat each other and you are trying to get the best from yourself, it is the whole thing of trying to improve yourself that I enjoy about bike racing. You’ve got you, a bike, the guys in your garage and you work together, to put in so much effort to constantly trying to figure it out. The teamwork side of it is good fun especially when you have a good team that you like and connect with which is awesome.

Shaina Salvia A. S.:

Thanks very much for your time and I really hope you feel better and you can ride at Donington and maybe also Suzuka.

Leon Camier:

Thank you, I’ll be trying and if I keep recovering I think Donington is possible.

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