Baz: "Pretty happy that I was quite fast… we still have a lot of work ahead"

Tuesday, 5 April 2022 17:54 GMT

French rider Loris Baz reacts after finishing fifth on Day 2 of the Supported Test at Aragon, and discusses how changing manufacturers a lot helped him adapt to BMW

With testing for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship coming to an end at MotorLand Aragon after the Supported Test, Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) as the lead BMW rider on Day 2 of the test as he secured fifth place for the German manufacturer. Four of the five manufacturers were inside the top five on Day 2, and all five were inside the top ten, with the 2022 season shaping up to be an incredible battle between all five.

Baz posted a best time of 1’49.383s which came in Free Practice 5 of the two-day test, with each day divided up into three Free Practice sessions per class. The Frenchman was the fastest rider to not improve their time in Free Practice 6 with the riders above him finding between two and six tenths on their best lap time between FP5 and FP6. Baz’s time in FP5 put him in third place for that 45-minute session, four tenths off top spot.

The fastest time of the day was recorded by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he posted a 1’48.714s, more than three tenths clear of nearest rival Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) with Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) almost four tenths back. American star Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed fourth spot ahead of Baz, with Baz’s time 0.669s down on Rea’s benchmark.

Explaining his second day of testing, Baz said: “We improved, we’re going in the right direction. We did our test plan and tried everything we wanted to try. We didn’t have any dramas because Barcelona was tough for us. We had small problems. We worked on the front on Day 1, we worked on the rear today. We tried different strategies and also managed to do a long run and try all the tyres that Pirelli brought. Pretty happy that I was quite fast, but not enough. Still have a lot of work ahead but it’s a lot of data and I hope we can use all the work we’ve done here and the back-to-back tests to improve for the weekend.”

Baz returns full-time to WorldSBK after a season of competing in the United States in 2021, but in the same year he completed two rounds as a replacement rider for Chaz Davies at Team Goeleven where he claimed two podiums. Prior to his replacement rids on Ducati machinery, Baz raced on Yamaha, BMW and Kawasaki machinery and he explained how changing manufacturers and championships will help him adapt to the BMW M 1000 RR.

Discussing this, he said: “I think it’s clear that I have changed a lot of manufacturers and tyres and inline or V4. It’s something that’s good for me to get used to the bike and also I have a lot of experience of what works and what doesn’t work on the bike to help BMW improve the bike, but also to get used to it. There is one thing we will never change on this bike, it’s an inline-four engine and an inline-four needs to be ridden differently than a V4. It’s good for me. It wasn’t too hard to get used to it and, for me, it’s just a normal thing to open my mind and understand how the bike needs to be ridden. I hope I can stay a long time with the same manufacturer because it’s not so easy to change so often.”

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