After receiving a call-up to replace Chaz Davies at Team GoEleven, Loris Baz grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he impressed on his return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with two top-ten finishes at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto for the Motul Spanish Round as he claimed sixth in Race 1 and ninth in Race 2.
Baz last competed in WorldSBK in 2020 but moved to the United States for the 2021 campaign, where he claimed fourth in the standings before an unexpected return to WorldSBK to replace Davies while the Welshmen recovers from two broken ribs sustained in a crash at Catalunya.
Pushed back to 12th position in the opening stages of Race 1, the Ducati rider then began to recover, passing his opponents one by one to claim sixth when the chequered flag fell and only ten seconds away from race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK). “It was a good day on the bike but a hard day, with what happened yesterday, to be back racing,” said Baz on Sunday night. “The only thing I wanted was to try and have as much fun as I could all weekend on the bike, and I had a lot of fun, so wanted to thank Ducati and GoEleven for the opportunity. We didn’t change anything on the bike all weekend, I just worked a lot on myself, trying to understand the Pirelli tyre again. It was a great weekend; I had a great Race 1. I think I didn’t choose the right tyre in Race 1 but I was still sixth and top Independent.”
During Race 2, Baz was a little more careful, not yet fully knowing how his Panigale V4 R behaves in higher temperatures but still had a late-race battle with Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). He said: “Race 2 was a bit harder, first time riding this bike in the hotter conditions. I had just lacked a little bit of edge grip on the rear. I had a nice run with Michael, tried something on the last lap and it didn’t work, so it’s still really right. Really happy and we can use this experience in Portimao. For me, it’s like pre-holidays. I’m taking it really easy, having fun on the bike and that’s it but giving 100 per cent like always.”
Watch Baz in action again during the Motul Portuguese Round using the WorldSBK VideoPass!