11 May 2012
Donington Park WSBK 2012 - Friday
Together with the other wild-cards and Brits just outside the top ten, there are plenty of home-grown/adopted riders to cheer on this weekend.
The Supersports are in full swing, save for a brief stoppage to clear the bike of Josh Day, and Sam Lowes is certainly starting as he means to go on by commanding a plus-one second lead over the competition.
That competition is being led by wild-card rider Glen Richards on the Smiths Gloucester Triumph, with PTR riders Ronan Quarby and Jules Cluzel chasing the three-cylinder machine.
Quite a few crashes so far on the slippery surface, including Day, Luca Marconi, both KUJA Honda riders and Mathew Scholtz.
A slimmer than usual schedule greets fans this weekend, with no FIM Superstock 1000 or Superstock 600 action included. Nonetheless, the headline-draws of World Superbike and World Supersport are present and correct, while the always exciting National Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 series' share the billing this weekend.
As mentioned below, there are no BSB wild-cards in the Superbike class, but the Supersport grid will be infiltrated by three unfamiliar faces in the form of Smiths Gloucester Triumph riders Glen Richards, Billy McConnell and Luke Mossey.
Bolstering the fairly small Triumph Daytona 675 contingent this weekend, the trio have been front runners at British Supersport level so far this year and there is little reason to suggest they won't be similarly competitive this weekend, regardless of who they going shoulder-to-shoulder with.
Actually, we will find out very shortly as the WSS riders are out first… The weather? The air is damp after an earlier shower, but while the track is fairly 'green', it is dry.
While those hoping to see Noriyuki Haga sparring with his old rivals will be disappointed to learn that not a single British Superbike team has opted to wild-card this weekend, three familiar faces will nonetheless be present at Donington Park this weekend.
Though his stint in BSB was a fairly brief one, Loris Baz made a significant enough impression in just a handful of rounds to earn himself the mantle of 'fan favourite', so few will begrudge him his WSBK debut aboard the factory Kawasaki this weekend.
Offered the chance after an impressive stint on a ZX-10R in the Superstock 1000 Championship, not to mention his prior experience of Donington, this is a fine chance for Baz to advertise himself to the top teams – and show Rob McElnea what he is missing.
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