Frenchman will be out on the BMW for the first time next week in Jerez
After three years in MotoGP ™, Loris Baz is about to take on a new challenge as he returns to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. Riding for Althea BMW Racing Team, he will be the only man out on track to take on the S1000RR in 2018, and he is hoping to be able to be up and fighting for podiums and even a victory.
Baz will look forward to developing the BMW machine and hoping for a long term relationship with the German bike. Following the announcement, WorldSBK.com caught up with the French rider.
Loris, you're planning your return to WorldSBK, can you tell us a little more?
"I am entering a new chapter back in WorldSBK, where everything started for me and where I took my first steps on the racing ladder. It was not easy to find the best bike as I came from MotoGP™, but I think I have found one of the best teams. It's the team that helped Carlos Checa win and they've been following me for a long time. I am joining a structure that knows me and who knows what I can do. It's encouraging and motivating. "
You will be the only BMW driver on the grid, what are your goals?
"With the changes to the regulations, I think there will be an opportunity to get some good results. I hope that we will have the opportunity to be on the podium or to even push for the victory. "
What is your plan during the winter before the championship resumes at Phillip Island?
"Our first tests will be held Monday and Tuesday in Jerez. It will my first chance to understand the potential of the bike, and we will have an idea of the pace of our rivals, as well as competing with them on track. Still, I am convinced that I can fight at the front, and this is the part of the challenge which motivates me the most. I cannot wait to discover the S1000RR."
Do you expect to find it difficult to adapt to a WorldSBK machine after several MotoGP ™ seasons?
"I do not think so, because I come from WorldSBK. The tyres have not changed drastically since I left and the bikes are similar. I think it take me a few laps to adjust, but I’m not really worried about that. "