Leon Camier learned last week one of the truths of professional motorcycle racing - a handshake is not a contract.
Camier was left seething after Fixi Suzuki dumped him last week to sign Eugene Laverty to ride its GSX-R in 2014. Camier claims he had a handshake deal with team boss Paul Denning, but the team instead decided to sign 2013 WSBK runner-up Laverty and reigning British Superbike champion Alex Lowes.
"I am pretty upset, to be honest," Camier told Brit media. "We had shaken hands on the deal after testing and to be told yesterday that it wasn't happening for 2014 has left me disappointed and annoyed. We weren't even going to test at Jerez unless we had an agreement, which we got, and then were finalizing the details there.
"It has been a very tough year for me with the two big crashes and subsequent injuries. I have had to ride over the limit all year to try and just be competitive, and a couple of times that bit me on the ass. I worked incredibly hard to come back from the Aragon and Turkey crashes and breaking my foot in seven places. I got a sixth place when I shouldn't have really been walking. We shook hands on the ride after the test, and now this has happened. I feel like I have been stabbed in the back after the hard work and loyalty I've shown."
Camier's griping is human. It also may be misplaced. Eugene Laverty's ride on the Yamaha and Aprilia WSBK machines have been nothing short of awe-inspiring. Every other team boss in the WSBK paddock would have jumped at the chance to sign Laverty, who has 12 WSBK victories over the past three seasons, including nine this year. Camier has zero career World Superbike wins.
Motorcycle racing is a results-driven business. Denning probably feels Laverty will provide his team a better chance for victories in 2014, and Laverty's track record justifies that choice.
A prodigy of California Superbike School guru Keith Code, Camier is looking to Aprilia for a ride with its WSBK satellite teams Althea and Red Devils, as he rode for the factory team beside Max Biaggi in 2010 and 2011. Camier also said he would consider competitive rides in the British Superbike and AMA-DMG Superbike competition.