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Loris Baz Runs at the Front Again on Final Day at Phillip Island

Loris Baz Runs at the Front Again on Final Day at Phillip Island

Loris Baz and the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha WorldSSBK Supported Team finished the opening round of the FIM Superbike World Championship on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit with a seventh place in WorldSBK Race and the Superpole Race and an eighth place in WorldSBK Race 2.

The final day started in a great way for Loris Baz and Ten Kate Racing Yamaha as they set the fastest lap time in warm-up. During the 10-lap Superpole race, Baz was fighting inside the leading group and finally passed the finish line in seventh position, just 1,49 seconds shy of the victory.

After a sensational Race 1 on Saturday, Race 2 on Sunday afternoon became an absolute thriller once again. No less than nine riders were part of the leading group. Baz was able to handle the pace and even took the initiative a couple of times to lead the race.

It was obvious that Baz was a prime candidate for finishing on the rostrum. However, in the final part of the race, a fuel problem on Toprak Razgatlioglu’s machine caused the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha rider to take evasive action through the grass.

It was very impressive how Baz managed to keep his machine the right side up, in order to return through the gravel and the grass back onto the track. Unfortunately, this stopped the French and Dutch combination from finishing inside the top positions and they ended up in eighth place.

Ten Kate Racing Yamaha and Baz will now prepare themselves for the second round of the championship which starts on Friday 13th of March on the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Loris Baz

Position: 7th and 8th

I think that after this weekend, we can say that the hard work during the previous months regarding the improvement of our pace has paid off. About today, first of all it was fantastic to be fast during warm-up. In the Superpole race we managed to stay inside the top five for a long time, we had a couple of nice battles, but in the end, I wasn’t able to trouble the podium positions. Race 2 I enjoyed a lot. I made a good start, managed to stay inside the top five and even lead the race on a couple of occasions. This was a very special feeling because it has been a while since I lead a race for the last time. Unfortunately, we had bad luck when Toprak had a technical issue. In one of the fastest sections of the track, I ended up in the grass which made me lose a lot of time and a good finishing position. It was a great shame because I felt quite sure that I was able to compete for a podium finish, and maybe even the victory because I felt very strong in the bike. However, it is what it is. It wasn’t our lucky day. I think that we can be proud of all the work we have done and the level where we are at right now. We have been fast and consistent during all the weekend, we managed to score points in all three races and we will be confident going to Qatar for the next round of the championship.

Kervin Bos

Team Manager

Looking back on today, Race 2 was exceptional of course. Loris rode an amazing race and it’s fantastic to see how strong he was and how he managed to even lead the race for a couple of times. In the end it is a big shame to end up with eighth place. We all could see how Toprak’s bike ran out of fuel and how Loris had to ride around him. Luckily, he managed to avoid a crash and return to the track and take eighth place. It is really frustrating and disappointing, especially because Ten Kate Racing Yamaha showed this race that we are back and we can fight for podium finishes. Today was not our lucky, but with Loris in this shape and a great working team, the podium is just a question of where, not when.