The 12th round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship in Germany is underway with a surprise name appearing on the timing screens after Lorenzo Lanzi was entered for Effenbert Liberty Ducati in place of Jakub Smrz.
A short statement from the Czech outfit revealed that Lanzi would ride in place of Smrz at the Nurburgring as a result of a re-organisation within the team.
"The Effenbert Liberty Racing Team goes on in its reorganisation of its human, technical and logistical resources for the next racing season. For this reason the Team would like to inform that for this Germany GP the Italian rider Lorenzo Lanzi replaces Kuba Smrž."
The surprise occurrence is the latest twist in a series of controversies involving Effenbert Liberty this season, the first coming with its harsh criticism of Infront over its handling of the Monza WSBK cancellation, before dropping its race-winning rider Sylvain Guintoli because of 'disappointing results'.
Indeed, Effenbert Liberty Ducati arrive in Germany having skipped the previous event at the Moscow Raceway, the Czech team citing the break as being a chance for it to turn its attentions to 2013.
Though this reorganisation has seemingly cost Smrz – who has raced with the team since it entered in 2011 - his ride, a pre-event release just three days earlier had originally stated that he was set to compete as normal this weekend.
In the meantime, Lanzi has taken Smrz's place on the official entry list, the Italian returning to WSBK having taken in rounds of the 2011 season aboard the BMW Italia S1000RR in place of the injured James Toseland. He also made a one-off appearance in the World Supersport Championship earlier this year, the experienced rider claiming a shock win in wet conditions at Assen aboard a ProRace Honda.