WSBK – Mercato MotoGP 2018: Loris Baz leaves the premier class of Grand Prix –

MotoGP 2018 mercato: Loris Baz leaves the premier category of the Grand Prix

WSBK - Mercato MotoGP 2018: Loris Baz leaves the premier class of Grand Prix -

The ax has fallen for the French rider Loris Baz, currently 15th in the provisional MotoGP: failing to renew his contract with the Ducati Avintia team, the Haut-Savoyard will no longer ride in the Grands Prix in 2018. With three seasons in the premier class, the n ° 76 hopes to bounce back in World Superbike…

Unfortunately, the news is not a surprise as it had been feared for several weeks: Loris Baz has not managed to save his place in the Ducati Avintia team, in which he drives an aging GP15. No more than his teammate Hector Barbera, who will come down next year in Moto2 in the Pons team.. 

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"As expected for some time, I can now confirm that I will not be racing in MotoGP in 2018," said "Baz-ooka". "Despite all the efforts of those around me and the good season I am having, it has not been enough to fight against other parameters".

WSBK - Mercato MotoGP 2018: Loris Baz leaves the premier class of Grand Prix -

Currently 15th in the MotoGP provisional classification, Loris Baz does not have to be ashamed of his third season among the elite: the – very – tall young man (1.91 m!) Has invited himself three times in the Top 10 , with two ninth places in France then in Austria as well as an 8th position in Assen which remains, to this day, his best result in 2017. 

Despite two white results (Austin and Brno), the second French driver on the field – with Johann Zarco – is only four short lengths behind the official Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro in the provisional classification: 39 points against 43 for the Spanish . It is also ahead of Andrea Iannone’s factory Suzuki (16th with 33 points), admittedly in distress on the GSX-RR but still riding an official motorcycle. ! 

A "giant" of races in the rain !

No doubt he missed the French rider a stroke of brilliance to keep his handlebars at Avintia, the last available from the MotoGP 2018 grid … A performance like those that illuminated his two previous seasons, when his talents as a equilibrists on a wet track had led him to a splendid fourth place in Misano (Italy) in 2015, then in Brno (Czech Republic) the following year. 

WSBK - Mercato MotoGP 2018: Loris Baz leaves the premier category of Grand Prix -

Loris tried to repeat this feat during the last race in San Marino, but his excess of zeal led him twice to the mat, then to a disappointing 16th place at the finish … The n ° 76 the readily admits: this is a missed opportunity when a Top 5 was within his reach.

"I didn’t want to be satisfied with finishing fifth or sixth, because the pace I had during the warm-up would have allowed me to get a good result, but it didn’t work", regrets Loris who also experienced tense moments with his Spanish employer from the Iberian Peninsula…

"I still have quite a few years ahead of me"

"I am proud of what I have managed to accomplish and of my journey during these three seasons at the highest level", analyzes Loris Baz about his three seasons in MotoGP, the first on a Yamaha Open at Forward (17th overall 2015) and the following two at Ducati-Avintia (20th in 2016 and 15th currently).

“I have learned a lot of lessons both as a pilot and on a human level. I would like to thank all those who made this possible and all the people I worked with. I am only 25 years old. (24 in reality since he was born on February 1, 1993, Editor’s note!) And I have three years of experience in WorldSBK and three in MotoGP, so I have quite a few years left in front of me, "he believes..

Back to WSBK in 2018

Not being able to stay in MotoGP, Loris naturally postpones his ambitions towards the second motorcycle speed world championship: the World Superbike. Known ground since he cut his teeth there successfully on Kawasaki, finishing 5th overall in 2014 after being on the podium nine times.

WSBK - Mercato MotoGP 2018: Loris Baz leaves the premier class of Grand Prix -

"We are now looking to the future and we want to find the best option. I hope to land a handlebar in WorldSBK which will allow me to be among the leaders and protagonists of the category", describes this sympathetic and open rider, whose MotoGP results also suffered, followed by compartment syndrome . 

"I know it is not easy, the potentially competitive machines are not numerous and many places are already occupied", he observes with a touch of apprehension..

Loris Baz is indeed aware of playing his all-out and having the obligation to succeed in his retraining to stay on the "short list" of coveted drivers. To do this, he must convince a WSBK team that is competent enough to help him achieve ambitious goals, in line with his talent and abilities..

  • MNC of September 20, 2017 : Timetables and challenges of the 2017 Aragon Grand Prix

In short: a team capable of winning, even the title. However, there are not many in Superbike, a category dominated by Kawasaki and Jonathan Rea despite the efforts of Ducati and its official riders Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri…

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