Leon Camier produced a gutsy display to claim two points finishes at the opening round of the World Superbike Championship despite suffering from glandular fever.
The factory Aprilia rider from Kent was in danger of missing the meeting at Australia's Phillip Island after being diagnosed with glandular fever during a pre-season test, just days before the first round. But the former British Superbike champion was determined to compete and battled hard to secure 13 points, which included an impressive run from 17th to sixth in race two.
Qualifying proved to be a struggle with the 24-year-old only managing to secure 17th place on the grid. Faced with nausea and low energy levels, he came back from 18th place to finish a creditable 13th at the chequered flag in race one.
His performance in the second race defied belief by producing a ride reminiscent of his charges from the back in BSB. Camier made a solid start and gradually worked his way up the order, breaking into the top-10 by lap 15. A couple of smart moves saw him grab eighth place, but he saved his best to the final lap, when he passed Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio to snatch sixth.
“I'm honestly shocked by the results, especially the second race,” he said. “I just concentrated on keeping things steady and trying to get into a rhythm, not making any mistakes, and I managed to work my way through.”
“I have never felt so ill and wasn't even sure if I'd be able to finish, so to come away just outside the top ten of the championship isn't so bad. It's frustrating to think what might have been if I wasn't ill, but there's no point dwelling on it. There's a long season ahead of us and to see what we achieved, even with my illness and limited track time, is definitely encouraging.”
Camier, who is 11th in the standings, plans to head to his Andorra home to continue his recovery ahead of the second round at Britain's Donington Park, beginning on March 25.