As the 2020 season gets underway, there is one Ducati team - Barni – which is in great difficulty. Leon Camier, the new face of the Italian team in the garage, has not yet recovered from the injury to his left shoulder that had forced him to miss both the Jerez and Portimao tests, making it impossible to fully learn the V4 R in just two days of testing at Phillip Island.
"I am not at all well from a physical point of view and at the moment I cannot ride the way I want to - Leon said at the end of FP2 - I tried to do three laps in a row but it wasn’t good, I can’t corner well and this is vitally important”.
You are some way down on the top guys, what do you think you can do to improve the situation?
“After every session, I will decide what to do, we will see together with the team if my pace is improving. I tried to learn the bike today because I didn't test it before. The V4 is quite complicated and it’s difficult to adapt my riding style to a very different bike than the ones I’ve had until now ".
Are you thinking of not taking part this weekend? Have you thought about it?
“Yes, I think at the moment it’ll be really difficult for me to finish the race, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be competitive, and I’d risk another injury. Tomorrow morning, I’ll see how it goes and decide whether to race or not, maybe another bit of relaxation will do me good".
Given your conditions, do you think you will miss Qatar in exchange for almost an extra month of rest?
“Yes, that’s a possibility. Skipping Qatar would give me some more weeks for recovery, and I know that there’s no point racing in these conditions and it doesn’t help me. Anyway, I don't know anything yet, I worked a lot in the gym to get here but I know I'm not in good shape".
It's not an easy start to the season. Did you expect these difficulties both technically and physically?
"I expected to struggle a bit with the Ducati, which I knew was a difficult bike to learn but with a lot of potential. From a physical point of view it’s difficult to say; with a normal injury this would not have been the situation but in this case we are not talking about anything normal because the shoulder ligaments and tendons are affected and it is not easy to recover".
You came from the Honda which this year is one of the most closely watched bikes on the grid. How different are the CBR and the Panigale?
"The Honda and the Ducati work very differently, both have strengths but with the Ducati I am finding it difficult in the corners even though with my current physical condition it’s difficult to find the limit".
Audio recording by Riccardo Guglielmetti