Baz: "I have a smile today, it was a long time!"

Saturday, 21 April 2018 13:53 GMT

Baz left beaming after season-best performances in Superpole and Race 1

Controlling the only bike of its kind on the grid is an extremely difficult task for any rider, but slowly and surely Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) is making the best out of his WorldSBK return. Finishing in the points in every race of the season so far, Baz took seventh in Race 1 at Assen, his best result so far and only his second top-10 finish (he was 9th in Australia, race 2). The Frenchman also scored his best result in MotoGP last year at Assen, showing that his riding style suits the Dutch bends.

Baz is taking his season step-by-step, and expects more improvements in the future. “We made a step, the team in BMW came with some good ideas”, he begins. “We were really far in Aragon, and the beginning of the season wasn’t easy. I was injured in Philip Island, struggling in Thailand where we had issues with the bike, we just weren’t fast in Aragon… But we are getting better here, we made a step in electronics, step on the bike.

“It’s cool, we’ve closed the gap”, he continues. “First time in Superpole 2, 17 seconds from first but I mean, it’s into fifteen seconds without the slow last lap. So, this is a good step forward, we just missed the sixth place by a few laps, but I’m happy because we’re making a step. We’ll be in P4 on the grid tomorrow, so hopefully we can make another step starting with the front guys. We have to improve a little bit our start, because this is a weak point at the moment, but I’m happy. I have a smile today, it was a long time!”

Behind that happiness, Baz still knows that his BMW needs improvements before he can battle at the front again. The Frenchman, however, seems to know very well where those features need to come: “We need more rear grip in the entry, and going out of the corner, the bike is just moving a lot. We also need to improve the electronics a little bit. Especially with the tyre drop, the rear is just so unstable in the entry, and I’m losing the rear every time. If we manage to improve this, we will make a step for sure. We have a test planned before Imola, and I hope we can make a step there”.

Baz starts from P4 in tomorrow’s Race 2. Catch all the action, including the BMW rider’s performance, thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.