Leon Camier To Race Aprilia RSV4 World Superbike For Rest Of Season

With Shinya Nakano out for the rest of the season with an injury, Aprilia are in need of a replacement rider for the World Superbike rounds at Magny-Cours and Portimao. Marco Simoncelli returns to his day job as factory Gilera 250cc rider this weekend at Estoril, and Aprilia test rider Alex Hofmann has duties of his own as a TV presenter for the German-language sports channel DSF at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Thus Aprilia is taking the opportunity of the two final races of the year to give a chance to candidates for the factory seat next year. Their main target is newly-crowned BSB champion Leon Camier, according to the Swiss magazine SpeedWeek. The Airwaves Yamaha rider wrapped up the BSB title last weekend at Silverstone, and has made no secret of his desire to make the switch to the World Superbike series next season. And so Camier has the Magny-Cours and Portimao WSBK rounds to secure a ride in the WSBK paddock for 2010 with a few good results.

Though Camier's talent is beyond question, whether the Aprilia is the best vehicle for showcasing that talent is another matter altogether. The RSV4 is by far the most compact - even minuscule - of the current Superbikes, and Camier is one of the tallest men in racing. Max Biaggi fits on the RSV4 neatly, but the Roman Emperor is no giant. Marco Simoncelli, at 6' or 1.83m, looked cramped on the bike, so how Camier, at 6'2 or 1.89m will fit on the RSV4 remains to be seen.

Simoncelli has also set the bar high for the young Briton. The reigning 250 World Champion came into the series as a wildcard at Imola, crashing out of 5th in race 1 and getting on the podium in race 2. As reigning BSB champion, Camier will have goals which, if not quite as high, will still be to finish well inside the top 10. Aboard a machine which will make him look like he is riding a pocket bike, that may be a tough ask.

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I've never seen a RSV4 in the flesh but yes Simoncelli made the thing look as small as his 250. These boys are young and flexible. A subtle seat movement of 50mm or so is enough to get them inside the cockpit. It's all swings and roundabouts. The little fella's fit well but can't move their weight around the machine in the manner a taller fella can to compensate for deteriorating tyres etc. Good luck to Leon I hope his great season continues.

Motorcycles fall over if you don't go fast

I had no idea he was that tall for starters? Ought to be a snug fit. Secondly what are Yamaha thinking about this kid running off and riding an Aprilia? I guess you can only protect so many riders and at the moment Yamaha has a pretty full load with Rossi, Lorenzo, Edwards, Toseland, Spies, and Crutchlow already in the factory fold. Shame too as Camier was a shining star for Yamaha this season. I would imagine Josh Hayes is in a similar situation. The whole AMA series is falling apart around him and I am sure he doesn't want to be the last man standing without a seat somewhere.

the Aprilia is a tiny bike. I'm sure the team can make some changes to it. They seemed to get it pretty good for the 6 ft. Simoncelli.

good luck leon!

Alex would probably rather ride. He's the only good thing about DSF's coverage of MotoGP. What a scandal that Dorna took the rights from Eurosport in Germany, who did such a good job and whose broadcasts were always something to look forward to, and gave them to a Scheiß-sender like DSF. Watching the races on DSF is an ordeal. And they typically don't show the 125 and 250 races live, instead on Sunday morning they air a live talkshow about football. Crap.

eah, the move away from Eurosport is pretty awful on the English side, too. I loved the Eurosport commentating team of Julian Ryder, Toby Moody and Randy Mamola. They managed to mix in vast knowledge (supplemented by Neil Spaulding, who literally wrote the book on MotoGP technology), child-like exuberance and fun, hilarious sense of humor and blanket, every single session coverage. Now I get to choose between the BBC's average and boring team or SPEED channel's inanity and tape delays. One in a long line of terrible moves by Dorna.