The news was in the air, so much so that the rumours about his replacement had started to become insistent, and now official confirmation has arrived. Team Barni and Leon Camier have reached an agreement to consensually terminate the contract that bound them for the 2020 Superbike world season.
The choice came after the difficulties shown by the British rider in recovering from the shoulder injury suffered during the winter tests in Aragon and the subsequent operation. The last tests held at Misano in June made it clear that Leon needs time to get back to 100% shape and the new SBK calendar, with six rounds in two and a half months, does not include recovery breaks. In light of this situation, in mutual interest, the parties have decided to end the collaboration.
“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,” said Camier. “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.”
The forced stop due to the Covid crisis seemed to be able to help put things right, but unfortunately it was not the case.
“During the off time due to the Covid-19 situation I gave the shoulder the rest it needed 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."
A consensual decision, therefore, not easy either for the rider or for the team principal Marco Barnabò, who underlined this.
“It is a painful decision because we have always believed that Camier could be competitive and we believe he can be competitive again, but sometimes my role requires me to make difficult decisions. The health of the rider is priority and it is right that he can take all the time necessary to get back in shape while I, as team manager, must protect the interests of the team. However painful, this decision was inevitable - concluded Barnabò - but I believe it protects the interest of both parties ".