Making progress as each race passes, Loris Baz took BMW’s and his own best result of the season
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening race of the Motul Dutch Round saw a thrilling opening race which was undecided all the way until the last lap. However, behind the battle for Race 1 honours, there was a strong performance for a first top six of the year from Frenchman Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW). Back in the Championship on a full-time basis in 2022 and so far, leading the battle for top Independent rider, Baz enjoyed his first top six of the season whilst chasing Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) for a top five.
Starting from the head of the third row, after missing out on the top six in Tissot Superpole by just under three tenths of a second, Baz made a good start and never dropped out of the top ten. Having been ninth in the early stages, he steadily worked his way up the order and by Lap 14, was inside the top seven. After Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) crashed out at Turn 5, Baz was then sixth, but couldn’t quite catch Iker Lecuona ahead of him, with the Spanish rookie just holding on by half a second.
Speaking after the race, Baz commented on his first top six of the season: “I am really happy to be back at Assen with all the fans; it’s a place that I love. I couldn’t race here when I was with the Ten Kate team a couple of years ago, so I was happy to be here. We had a tough weekend and I wasn’t feeling comfortable on the bike. We made a lot of changes through the night and today but unfortunately, we had some issues in FP3. We started the race with no more than three laps in a row yesterday, so I wasn’t confident with the pace. But I knew we found something in FP3 as I did a good Superpole.
“I tried to do a good race, I got a normal start and battled a couple of times with Axel Bassani. We managed to catch back Iker and he just had something more in two corners. I was catching him easily in the rest of the lap until four laps from the end, when I think by catching him, I killed my front tyre a little bit and I couldn’t make a pass on him. So, I just brought the best the best result of the team. We took top Independent, it’s not something I’m really happy about but it’s super important for the team and BMW. At the moment, we want more but we are in the right direction.”
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