Home Race For Sykes As Baz Joins Official SBK Squad

May 10, 2012

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will be going for a home win to add to his Monza success this weekend and he will have a new team-mate in the KRT garage, regular Kawasaki Superstock rider Loris Baz.

Sykes is now only a handful of points away from the outright championship lead. He and his Ninja ZX-10R have been competitive all season, irrespective of conditions or the kind of circuit they have faced.

For the first time in 2012 Sykes did not take the Tissot-Superpole prize last time out, at Monza, but as he traded it up for a win on raceday, after starting from second place.

Tom was on the front row of the grid at the equivalent race at Donington last year and hopes to be so again in 2012, to aid him in his quest to leave his British fans happy and go to the next round in America as championship leader.

Riding in place of Joan Lascorz, who suffered spinal injuries in a testing crash, Frenchman Baz will ride at Donington and the following round at Miller. Loris is an SBK rookie but a rider of great promise who raced in BSB and had a one-off outing in the IDM series last season as well. Baz won the Superstock 600 European Championship at the tender age of 15 and is still only 19 years old. He has taken the MRS Racing Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R Superstock FIM Cup machine to a podium this season already, but Donington will be his first SBK ride.

Baz’s immediate goal for this weekend is to learn more about his new machine as quickly as possible and make constant improvements as the meeting unfolds. He has already tested the bike for two days and the results were encouraging for all involved.

Kawasaki Pedercini Team rider David Salom will miss the Donington round after injuring his right shoulder in a fall at Monza last weekend, which means young Argentine Leandro Mercado will the team’s lone Ninja ZX-10R rider at a circuit he has no experience of so far.

There will be none of the regular Superstock or other support classes at Donington this year, just the Superbike and Supersport championships, with British national series races bolstering the raceday action.

Tom Sykes: “I do not know why we pushed ahead so well at Monza but I had a good feeling with the bike, no question. It was great to take my first win of the season on the Ninja ZX-10R but obviously I was also disappointed at Monza because half points in only one race could have been a lot more. We had good pace in the dry there, but we seem to be dragging this bad weather around with us. I will wipe the slate clean again as always in the approach to Donington and go about the weekend as normal. I feel confident for the remainder of the season. We turned up at Monza and we had a good package straight off. We found a couple of issues we needed to improve on and, fair play to the team, they quickly rectified those and we carried on, improving as the weekend progressed. I am looking forward to rolling on to Donington now, where hopefully we can get a full distance race win.”

Loris Baz: “I am very excited about this opportunity and I will do my best on the bike. I am excited for the first session tomorrow and I have already tested the bike for two days. It went very well and I had a good feeling and I always feel better on a Superbike because the slick tyres are much harder and give more grip. I do not have any special objective this weekend, just to improve in every session.”

Tati Mercado: “Donington is a completely new track for me and I'll have to adapt quickly and learn the track. In Monza I was fast in the wet and I know it often rains in England so that might be useful. In any case I’m also ready to race on a dry circuit and look forward to finding good feeling with my bike at this new circuit. I’ll try my best to reach a good result for my team and for all my supporters.”