Leon Camier says he cannot wait to make his first appearance in Crescent Suzuki colours as he begins preparations for the 2012 World Superbike Championship with a test at Portimao.
Having spent his first two seasons of WSBK racing with the Aprilia Alitalia team, former British Superbike Champion Camier will team with Crescent Suzuki in 2012, itself stepping up to the international stage having plied its trade on the domestic scene in recent years.
With recently announced team-mate John Hopkins still sidelined through injury, Camier will ride at the Portimao test with the intention of getting to grips with the GSX-R1000, which will be fitted with Crescent's existing engines and those prepared by new performance partners Yoshimura.
"I'm very excited to get out on the bike,” he said. “There is a lot to test on the Crescent Suzuki and I'll be getting to know the team. My focus will initially not be solely on lap times; at the minute it's more about getting comfortable with the bike and having a good platform for the next test.”
Hopkins's absence means Crescent has enlisted the help of Suzuki's British Supersport champion Alastair Seeley, who will be on hand to help with development of the engines and the Motec electronics package.
Team manager Jack Valentine says he is excited to be getting Crescent Suzuki's World Superbike endeavour underway in Portugal.
"I'm really looking forward to getting Leon on the bike. We'll be aiming to get a good chassis set-up for him, and if he clicks with the bike early on - then we'll be looking at lap times. But my primary aim is to get Leon comfortable on the bike so he can head into the winter testing break with a good feeling.
"We will also be testing engines and electronic packages with the help of Alastair Seeley, who is standing-in for the injured John Hopkins. Alastair proved this season in British Supersport what a good rider he is, so we believe he'll give us some useful input towards the development of the bike.
"And last but not least, the team itself has had some new additions to it, making this trip somewhat of a team bonding exercise. So far the lads have gelled really well in the workshop, so I expect this will be the case in Portugal.
"The main thing is to come away happy, focussed, and with some positive feedback that will allow us to step up again before the next test in the New Year."
Camier completed the 2011 WSBK season in seventh position overall with four podiums achieved at Donington Park, Miller Motorsports Park, Motorland Aragon and Imola.