Loris Baz secured a sensational home podium at Magny-Cours in challenging conditions as he finished second behind Jonathan Rea
Wet weather had been the story of the Pirelli French Round so far as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship descended onto the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours but home hero Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was able to secure his third podium of the season and his first at Magny-Cours following a superb Race 1 performance.
The French rider had started the race from eighth place following the Tissot Superpole session where he had taken a gamble with the tyres but Baz was soon able to show the pace he had shown on Friday during the race was he hunted down Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK); Baz gaining a place when Gerloff crashed on Lap 7.
Reacting to his weekend and Race 1, Baz said: “It’s been an incredible weekend so far, I’m really happy with the job the team has done. I was not so comfortable on Friday, but I was still fourth. I really expected to fight for the pole position. I went for a gamble with the tyre choice, I went for the intermediate, and it didn’t pay off unfortunately. I was really motivated for the race to come back as soon as possible. I tried to overtake Gerloff as soon as possible to be behind Jonny.”
Baz was full of praise for his on-track rival Rea following the race as the pair fought tooth and nail for victory; their relentless pace allowing Baz to finish six seconds clear of Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in third place, with the Frenchman three seconds away from Rea at the end of the race following a late-race error.
Baz said: “I felt really good, to be honest, especially this morning after we made a small change on the bike. I’m really confident. We have to try again in the Superpole Race, be in the top three again to have a good starting position for Race 2. That will be important. I’m confident. We saw today that Jonny and myself were faster than the rest, also Gerloff was really fast but he made a mistake.”
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