Leon Camier has spoken of the ‘amazing’ chance he has to line-up against the likes of boyhood hero Valentino Rossi and current MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez in 2014.
The former British Superbike champion appeared on an updated MotoGP entry list yesterday and he will ride an Aprilia ART machine for the Italian-based Ioda Racing squad.
Speaking to MCN from his Andorra home, Kent star Camier said he was excited about lining up against nine-times world champion Rossi and Repsol Honda sensation Marquez.
“Just to be on the grid with those boys is amazing. Rossi has been a hero of mine since I was a kid and it is going to be phenomenal just to be sitting on the same grid as him. I know a lot of people say that and it sounds like bulls**t but that is the truth. It is amazing just to be there.”
Camier will partner Italian Danilo Petrucci this season, though he is still not sure whether he will attend the first winter test of 2014 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia early next month.
Camier clinched the Ioda deal after a deal to remain with the Crescent Suzuki squad in World Superbikes for a third successive collapsed at the last minute.
He was signed for Aprilia’s WSB team in 2010 by legendary Italian race boss Giampiero Sacchi, who now runs the Ioda Racing project.
He added: “I know Giampiero pretty well and I messaged him last year to ask what was happening with the project and if they were looking for a rider. He told me to get down to Italy immediately and I flew to Rome and we knocked a deal out there and then.”
Camier will ride an Aprilia ART machine in 2014, but he is unclear what level of development the Noale factory will put in following a split with the Aspar squad at the end of 2013.
Spaniard Aleix Espargaro was a regular giant-killer on the ART machine and was regularly challenging the factory prototypes.
Camier said: “As far as I know they are going to be carrying on development of the bike and it is going to be similar to what Espargaro finished last season on. I don’t know to be honest. All I know is there will be upgrades throughout the year and who gets them I am not sure. Everything is still being sorted and agreed but I can’t wait to get started.”
Camier will at least have a few friendly faces to call upon in the paddock this season, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith and new PBM rider Broc Parkes all Andorra residents.
Camier said: “It is cool because we train and hang out together. Actually we have just been discussing whose car we are going to be taking to the airport for every race!”
Camier’s MotoGP deal means he is the fifth British rider confirmed on the 2014 premier class grid and the ninth in total competing across the three world championship classes.
For more from Camier on his 2014 MotoGP deal, see the January 22 issue of Motor Cycle News.