The home favourite certainly delivered the goods, with top five pace all weekend being richly rewarded!
The home crowd at Magny-Cours had plenty to cheer about in WorldSBK as Loris Baz enjoyed his best weekend of the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. The Ten Kate Racing Yamaha was in fine form, with a joint-best result of the season in fourth during Race 1, whilst during the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2, he avoided chaos around him to finish seventh and fifth respectively.
Baz had been one of the few riders who looked strong in wet and dry conditions, using his local knowledge of the Magny-Cours layout to his advantage. Besides a tenth in Sunday Warm Up and seventh in the Tissot Superpole Race, Baz was inside the top five right across the weekend, whilst gaining his biggest points haul from the two full distance races since returning to the championship last year.
Speaking about his home round, the 26-year-old said: “We had a good day overall. I lost a bit of time in the first laps of the Superpole Race before a small technical problem emerged. I was still able to pass Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam to secure a seventh position. In the second race, I had quite a bad start again… this is something we need to work on this winter,” he concluded.
Whilst Baz may have had plenty of fighting to do on Sunday, his best result of the weekend came on Saturday in fourth. However, he was briefly up to third with just three laps to go and at the line, was beaten by former teammate and arch-rival Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), where he was 1.658s behind. He was top Yamaha however, after Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) crashed with three laps to go.
“I was able to maintain a similar pace to the leaders the whole race and we finished less than five seconds from the victory,” said a reflective Baz, eager for more. “I am really happy with how the bike behaves. We are able to challenge factory machines. We are on the right track and it was great having the support of the French fans these past three days. I enjoyed a lot racing in front of all my fans!”
Now, Baz turns his attention to the Motul Argentinean Round, the second ever visit to the track and the penultimate round of the 2019 season. He was ninth and eleventh in the races, having qualified in 13th for Race 1. He moves up to 12th in the championship, eight points off a top ten placing, currently held by Sandro Cortese.
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