6. Leon Camier

The 2010 World Superbike grid may not have been one of the largest on record, but it certainly wasn't lacking in interest from a British perspective.

However, while the likes of Jonathan Rea, James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow went into the season with notable credits at world championship level already, Leon Camier assumed the role of relative unknown quantity as he prepared for his first full season on an international stage.

As one of seven riders to tackle for the title of 'top British rider' and team-mate to Max Biaggi in an Italian team that was evidently formed around its lead contender, Camier faced a series of challenges in 2010 - but rose to each one superbly.

Adapting well to the RSV-4, a pair of top five finishes at Portimao from mid-field grid positions were an early indication of what was to come, Camier going on to lead a WSBK race for the first time in only his sixth outing at Valencia.

A maiden podium next time out at Assen - ahead of Biaggi - continued that theme and prompted a run of strong top six results that peaked with a career-best second place finish at Miller Motorsports Park, Camier finishing as the '2' in Aprilia's first 1-2 result.

A third podium finish on home soil, again ahead of Biaggi, put Camier well on the way for a strong top ten result in the overall standings with just three rounds remaining. Of course, disaster would strike at the Nurburgring when Camier injured his wrist in an accident and was forced to miss the final six races.

However, Camier had already made his point, shrugging off a steep learning curve to prove the most convincing of the 'true' rookies in 2010. Aprilia certainly think so too as they have snapped up Camier for another season as a prize for aiding its route to the 2010 manufacturers' title.

Not that Camier enjoyed a perfect year, the Briton too often finding himself on the tarmac, most notably in both races at Valencia and at Assen when he crashed out of podium challenging positions. Indeed, had he completed those results, Camier would be celebrating at least seventh in the standings, even before his enforced three-round absence.

However, while consistency will come with nurture, speed is more natural. With the latter in droves, it's possibly only a matter of time before Camier has a team that will be rallying around him...

Statistics:

Team: Aprilia Alitalia Bike: Aprilia RSV-4

Championship position: 12th Points: 164

Race starts: 20 Pole positions: 0 Victories: 0 Podiums: 3 Best results: 2nd (Miller) Points finishes: 15

Crash.net's WSBK Top 10

6. Leon Camier
7. Tom Sykes
8. Troy Corser
9. Noriyuki Haga
10. Sylvain Guintoli

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