Can you remember when Leon Camier ran away with the British Superbike Championship on his blue and white Airwaves Yamaha. It doesn’t seem like yesterday, does it? Well that’s because it wasn’t yesterday, it was over 11 years ago. And it was 11 years ago that the lanky Kentish man signed with Aprilia to race in the World Superbike Championship. How time flies. Since then, he’s raced for Suzuki, BMW, Ducati, Honda and even MV Agusta. What a whore. But after years of trying, the WorldSBK crown has eluded him. Will he have more success as a team manager? Well, we are going to find out.
Over the last couple of years, Camier’s results have continued to suffer thanks to a poorly shoulder that just won’t get better. After signing with Barni Ducati to race the Panigale V4 in 2020, his shoulder problems prevented him riding right from the very start of the season, so they swiftly binned him off. I expect that was the straw that broke the camels back in his decision to hang his leathers up.
There’s no doubt that there would have been other opportunities for the ex-BSB champ, however when Alberto Puig, HRC big-wig, and ex-top-level-racer himself, offered Camier the opportunity to stay in the industry that he loves, in a slightly different capacity, I don’t suppose it took him long to say yes.
Camier had this to say about his new job…
“I’ve been a Honda rider for several seasons during my career and I’m now very happy and proud to be back with the company for what is a major change in my professional and personal life. I thank Honda for the trust they have put in me – the WorldSBK project is very important and the new CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE looks absolutely great. I’m prepared to work hard to achieve our goals; I always did so as a rider and I will continue in the same way as Team Manager. Having raced in SBK for many years, I know the championship and its challenges very well, although the current period further exacerbates these issues. But in working alongside two very strong riders like Alvaro and Leon, and such a professional group of people as Team HRC and the HRC engineers, I am confident we’ll be able to reach our full potential and fight for top results. We now have two days of testing at Jerez, it will be my first opportunity to work with the team and I really look forward to starting this new and exciting adventure.”
For his first ‘work trip’, Camier will be taking his riders, Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam, to Jerez for some pre-season testing on the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade on the 20-21 of January. It’ll be a chance for the lads to get their heads into gear in time for the first round at Assen on the 25th of April. And a chance for Camier-san to get used to holding a clipboard.
Hello, Al! Great to get this from you guys. I have to say, I am excited for Leon. I have always been a fan of the man and in fact I’m pretty sure I have helped him out of the gravel at Laguna Seca a time or two during the events there over the years! I get the impression Leon is a very bright guy so I think he will adapt to this new role pretty seamlessly. He can definitely talk the talk with the riders, and that is important.
I see better times ahead for HRC in Superbike. And I’m glad. Honda should be up there fighting at the front. I think they finally have the weapon to do it with, too. Either way, It will be fun to watch.
Very glad to see this. Have followed him since I had one of his dads bikes in the 1980s ( a road legal-ish monoshock framed tuned SR500 single with various tzr cycle parts weighed feck all went like stink and blew up regular). Last year was grim with the injuries keeping him off track and I had wondered at the end of the year what he would do.I really hope he can make a go of this
Thank you for another great article, keep them coming.