The show ground to a halt at Donington this lunchtime, when some of the best known names from the series’ 20-year history took to the track in a celebration of the anniversary meeting this weekend – and just to show that you can’t take the racer out of the man, Kiwi legend Aaron Slight managed to lob it!
Slight – on a Ron Haslam Race School Honda - was joined by first ever WSB champ Fred Merkel on his title-winning Honda RC30, Aussie star Rob Phillis on a Kawasaki, Italian heartthrob Pier-Francesco Chili – who looked on race pace on one of his DFX Corse team’s full-on WSB bikes - Brit 2003 champ Neil Hodgson on his Fila Ducati title-winning 999, BSB hero John Reynolds, Aprilia factory rider Peter Goddard, and Italian nutters Fabrizio Pirovano and Piergiorgio Bontempi.
Mobbed by well-wishers and fans prior to the track opening for their two ‘parade’ laps, all made the same low-key “We are just here to wave to the fans” downplaying of any thoughts of re-enactments of their glory days – but as soon as the flag dropped, Chili shot off like he was on an impromptu WSB test session, with Reynolds in pursuit.
Meanwhile Slight - in his Castrol Honda leathers and looking race-ready fit - came a cropper on the first run down Craner Curves, losing the front at the same left flick which claimed nearly half a dozen Supersport riders this morning!
Thankfully he slid off unhurt and was able to ride the bike back for the rest of the parade and back to the pitlane, where he received a torrent of jeers from his fellow legends.
The parade will be repeated tomorrow, hopefully without incident!