WELCOME TO SEASON THREE OF OFF TRACK PODCAST! NEW IDEAS AND A NEW DIRECTION ARE JUST A FEW OF THE CHANGES WE'VE MADE TO MAKE OFF TRACK BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER AND TO WELCOME LEON CAMIER TO THE SHOW IS A GREAT START
Leon Camier is a three-time British Champion, and many people forget that fact. Many remember his biggest championship to date as 2009 British Superbike Champion, but the Kent man was also 2005 British Supersport Champion and the 2001 British 125cc Champion. It's fair to say that Camier was one of the most talented riders of a golden generation that included Jonathan Rea, Cal Crutchlow, and Tom Sykes.
Take, for example, Camier's 2006 Supersport title aboard the Padgett's Honda. He was pushed all the way by the late Craig Jones along with Cal Crutchlow, Stuart Easton, Tom Sykes, now KRT boss Pere Riba and MotoGeo's own, Jamie Robinson. It wasn't an easy journey for the former World Superbike rider, there was no silver spoon, no huge sponsor to back his exploits, simply good old fashioned hard work and, most importantly, taking an opportunity with both hands when it presented itself.
Many will remember Camier for his dominant British Superbike campaign in 2009 with the Colin Wright-run Airwaves Yamaha team. If there was ever a moment for the planets to align then that was the year; the right bike, working in the right way, with the right mindset and, of course, the Wright way, meant that the already double British Champion could take his third title if he worked hard enough. Trading wins with Suzuki's Sylvain Guintoli over the opening two rounds set the tone for the year before Guintoli was injured and sat out several rounds. The former grasstracker went on to take 18 wins, finishing off the podium just three times and just one DNF across the whole season. The only downside to that dominant season was that it left us with the Showdown from 2010!
A step into World Superbikes with Aprilia was next as team-mate to Roman Emperor himself, Max Biaggi. A tough time followed at Aprilia, before moving on to several different teams across an eleven-year WorldSBK career, defined by team politics, sub-standard machinery and, as Camier readily admits, staying loyal to a manufacturer rather than stepping across to another, is a decision he'd change if he could turn back the clock. The hardest part to listen to in this enthralling chat, is his own reflective view on his WorldSBK career.
Something else that's interesting to listen to is his step into team management and how that role came about. Leon talks openly about the role and where the team are right now along with the restrictions they face in developing the Honda FireBlade and the frustrations the riders are feeling.
Overall, it's a great chat and we're grateful to Leon for sparing us the time from his busy schedule as HRC Team Manager, he's growing into the role and we wish him, and the Honda squad, all the very best for the rest of the WorldSBK season.