sport

Joe Francis relishing Supersport World Championship shot

Backford Bullet handed wild-card entry to this weekend's race at Donington Park

Joe Francis in action on his latest outing at Oulton Park(Image: Jon Jessop Photography)

Joe Francis is relishing the chance to take on the best Supersport riders on the planet.

The 19-year-old from Backford has been handed a wild-card entry into this weekend’s Supersport World Championship race at Donington Park.

And Francis is hoping he can use the experience to help aid his bid for a high finish in the British series.

He said: “It’s the first time I will have competed at this level so I’m excited for it.

“I honestly don’t know what to expect. I haven’t set a goal of where I’d like to come.

“It’s going to be more about lap times, and seeing if we can drop them down.

“But the biggest thing for me is to learn from it and to see if we can transfer that to the British Championship.

“If we could do that then that would be a big help and it would keep me moving in the right direction.

“I want to learn as much as I can off the riders and it should be a good indication of what I have to do to get to that level.”

Francis only signed up with Movuno.com Halsall Racing on the eve of the 2017 campaign.

That has left the ‘Backford Bullet’ and his team playing ‘catch up’.

Joe Francis has signed up to race with Movuno.com Halsall Racing in the British Supersport Championship this season. He is pictured with team boss Martin Halsall

They finished ninth in the opening round of the Dickies British Supersport Championship at Donington Park.

Then came seventh, sixth and 11th-placed finishes at Brands Hutch where Francis had to battle bravely through the pain barrier after injuring his elbow in the second race of the weekend.

But the highly rated teenager recovered in time to take seventh and fourth spot in the last round at his home track Oulton Park.

Francis, who is sixth in the British standings ahead of next month’s meet at Knockhill, said: “What’s nice about this weekend is that we’re going to a track that we’ve already been to this year.

“We struggled in that race so it would be great to show how far we’ve come already this season.

“As well as giving me the chance to learn, the race at the weekend will give us more track time on the bike.

“We were playing catch-up and, in many ways, we still are, so it’ll be a good test at a really high level.

“If it brings us on and we can do good laps – and we know what a good lap is around there – then we know we’re going to be in good shape for the British.

“We’re taking steps in the right direction, it’s just a case of keeping going now, and I’m sure we’ll get to where we want to be pretty soon.

“We’ve been consistent and that was the aim while we were behind everyone else.

“There was no point chucking it off the road every time because, when we do get strong, those consistent points we’ve picked up could be the difference.”

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