Barni Racing has confirmed it is parting ways with Leon Camier ahead of the rescheduled 2020 WorldSBK Championship season after his failure to get over long-standing shoulder injuries.

The Briton has been battling fitness issues for more than a year now since a crash at Imola – when he hit a stricken bike crashed by a rider up ahead – left him with a serious shoulder injury. Only returning to action for the final few rounds, Camier nonetheless sourced a promising deal with top privateer team Barni Ducati for the 2020 WorldSBK season.

However, a crash in post-season testing prompting another shoulder injury, necessitating two rounds of surgery before Camier was forced too withdraw from the opening round over fitness concerns.

When he then couldn’t take up his place on the bike as recently as June because he couldn’t get comfortable on the Ducati Panigale V4 R, Barni Racing has subsequently followed through and cancelled his contract.

Despite the sorry situation, Camier – the 2009 BSB Champion – maintains this isn’t the end for his racing career and has vowed to use the time away to come back stronger.

“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.

“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.

“According to the medical experts, the situation now is different than before, there seems no structural problem like last year. 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 7 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».2

Who will replace Leon Camier?

A regular podium winner in the hands of Xavi Fores as recerntly as 2018, Barni is regarded as one of – if not the – best satellite outfit on the WorldSBK grid.

As such, the seat remains sought after and with only one round completed, it’s a chance to get a full season in.

Favourite for the ride is set to be WorldSSP Champion Randy Krummenacher, who tested in Camier’s place recently and impressed with his speed. The Swiss rider is also available after quitting the MV Agusta WorldSSP in a storm of accusations concerning technical and safety breaches.

Meanwhile, GPOne is reporting Marco Melandri’s interest might be picked enough for him to return just months after retiring. The Italian has previously spoken of his desire to try the Ducati Panigale V4 R having been frozen out of Ducati just as it was introduced.

 

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