Leon Camier has expressed his pride at landing the surprise opportunity to helm the Team HRC Honda WorldSBK team, even if he admits it was the ‘hardest decision’ to give up racing following a catalogue of injuries.

The British rider began competing in WorldSBK in 2010 in the wake of his crushingly dominant romp to the 2009 British Superbike Championship, but despite a promising two years at Aprilia was plagued by injuries and inconsistent machinery.

Taking in stints at Suzuki, BMW, MV Agusta and Honda from 2012, Camier was supposed to join Barni Ducati for the 2020 WorldSBK season but two serious shoulder injuries - one that ruled him out for much of the 2019 season and another during testing - stopped him from ever starting a race with the Italian outfit.

It led to Camier calling time on his racing career but he will now start a new chapter in a team manager role for the factory Honda squad, an opportunity he describes as ‘amazing’ despite the disappointment of no longer racing competitively.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, that’s the first thing,” he told the WorldSBK website. “A big thank you to Honda for having the confidence in me to do the job. It is a lot of responsibility and a big position to jump into straight away. I have a lot of experience as a rider and hopefully this will translate to moving the team forward and having my experience could be a positive for the whole team. I am looking forward to the challenge.

“Retiring was maybe the hardest decision of my life to stop racing. The last few years for me haven’t been easy with injury and it has not gone as well as I would have wanted but to actually decide to stop racing is such a big thing - my life has been dedicated to racing, training towards it and everything you do is improving yourself and perform as a racer. 

“So to stop that is a really big deal, bigger than I expected but having this opportunity has helped,I can focus on this and use my experience to improve [the team]. I think I can jump into it quite easily, it is a natural progression to do this. For me, I am really looking forward to this challenge. A lot to learn but really excited to start.”

One of the more interesting quirks of Camier’s appointment is the fact at 34 he is younger than both Leon Haslam (37) and Alvaro Bautista (36).

However, he says his recent experience of the current generation machinery puts him in a strong position despite his lack of managerial experience.

“Having had experience in a lot of different teams, I have seen the good points, the bad points… the things I always wanted to be different or improve,” he continued. “I know from the riders position what they will be looking for, a lot of behind the scenes information to give them confidence and motivation to keep pushing. 

“This I can bring to the team straight away. I am amazed by the effort of what goes on behind the scenes, as a rider you don’t see these things, you are quite sheltered from everything. For me, this was a big surprise but something that is good to share with the riders."