This weekend’s WorldSBK round at San Juan will be only Leon Camier’s second round since a big crash at Imola put him out of action.
Usually a rider to spring back from injury fast, it took the former BSB king months to get back to a position where he felt strong enough to ride and it all stemmed from an initial misdisagnosis of just how badly his shoulder was damaged.
“The shoulder was good. The joint was good, which was the scary thing. That’s what’s taken time and what the whole fuss has been about,” Camier told bikesportnews.com.
“Just the muscles in the shoulder still aren’t back to normal yet. I’ve got a bit of an imbalance in there, so there’s quite a lot of pain in the muscles in the back. Like, a lot of pain. But it’s working fine. It’s just I have to try and keep the muscles balanced.
“I’ve had this problem before, so it will come good when it comes good. Also scar tissue and all that still needs to be broken down. There’s still a bit of a way to go with it yet, but it will be fine. The joint’s fine, which is the only thing you have to worry about.”
Camier returned to action in France and secured his, and Honda’s, best results of the season so far - which is telling in itself – even though he is still in a lot of pain from the injury sustained in Italy.
“I snapped all the ligaments in the AC joint. So the collarbone wasn’t attached any more. Basically what happens is when you look at your shoulder, it looks like the collarbone is stuck up in the air, but what it actually is is that the shoulder has dropped.
“So everything sat about to the point, and soon as the muscle fatigues, which it does pretty quickly when braking, changing direction and all that sort of shit, there’s no stability in it.
I’d be going into a corner, like when I tried riding before Donington, and all of a sudden it’s like your arm’s not attached. You’ve got no control of the handlebar. It’s sort of flopping around. So, that was the problem.
“It all came from having some deep scans done, but it didn’t say on the prescription how to do the scans. You have to do them in a certain position or hold your arm in a position to see the separation in the joint.
“So the results came back with, ‘Yeah, some ligaments are broken, but it won’t be that bad. You’ll be out maximum a couple of months. Could be a few weeks depending how it is. Each case is different’.
“So I get to two months, I’m still at 80%. I’ve got full range of movement and not a lot of pain, but as soon as I started riding I’m useless and then big pain. So that’s when I went to see another specialist and had more scans, more X-rays….
“Then they came back with, ‘No, it’s all fucked. That was the problem. Then I had to get the operation and it’s been two and a half months since then.”
Despite all this, Camier was pleased with his results at Magny-Cours even though qualifying didn’t go to plan.
“Qualifying was a bit of a mess because they brought the soft tyre and I only got one lap out of in really cold, wet conditions. I went out and didn’t go quick enough, basically. So we ended up tenth, which was not bad.
“Then in the race it was still tacky in a couple corners, but I was gone. It was not scared, sort of thing. I managed to pick quite a few off and had a good race because of it.
“Then with a couple of people out that should have been in front of me, but it would have been a top ten I think. Race two was a similar situation. Had a good race, basically. Not too bad. A lot better than I expected.”