Aprilia Racing manager Luigi Dall'lgna has admitted he was 'surprised' by Leon Camier's immediate pace on the RSV-4 during his two-race stint with the team towards the end of the 2009 World Superbike Championship.
Camier joined the Italian team as a replacement for Shinya Nakano at Magny-Cours and Portimao, the Briton overcoming some initial difficulties in adapting to both the bike and the circuits to post two top seven results at the season finale.
The performances, coupled to his record-breaking turn in the 2009 British Superbike Championship, would see him confirmed as Aprilia's second rider alongside Max Biaggi for 2010.
Indeed, Dall'lgna was impressed with Camier's approach at those rounds considering his baptism of fire with the bike, the team and the circuits.
"I was really surprised with him the last two races of the championship the really didn't know anything about the bike, about the people, the racetracks, and he did really good results,” he said.
Speaking about the season ahead, although many have tipped Biaggi as a title favourite, Dall'lgna is keeping his predictions relatively modest, suggesting the team should be targeting a top three finish in 2010.
"I think the 2010 season will be very open and there are many strong riders and teams,” he added. "There are so many question marks in 2010 so we will see in the tests at the end of January, and then after that during the season.
In terms of race winners I think for sure Rea and Toseland, Haga and Fabrizio, Vermeulen, for sure Biaggi - really, really many riders who could win at some stage during the season."
“In 2010 I would like to do better than in 2009. This is our target. That means first three in the championship. We will see."