The BMW rider jumps straight into tomorrow’s Superpole 2 with the fourth best lap around Misano
Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) recorded the fourth fastest time at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Friday, as Round Nine of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship kicked off in Rimini. It’s only the third time that Baz has qualified directly for the Tissot Superpole 2 this season.
This step forward from Baz comes just as he faces a round outside of the top ten in the championship standings for the first time this year. It’s unfamiliar territory for the Frenchman, who as the only BMW rider on the WorldSBK grid has endured an uphill battle all season. But at Misano, a track where he took consecutive podiums in 2014, Baz is looking strong and ready to fight for his best results of 2018.
“Top five is a realistic goal, I think”, says Baz. “I did many laps today, 24-25 with the front tyre just to see the pace. It’s the first time this season that we’re able to work calmly and consistently, the bike feels good so we don’t have to change the setup every time we come into the pits”.
The French rider’s team has made very few changes to the bike since the last round, yet the feeling out on track is like night and day: “The grip of the track didn’t give us any problems, all the issues we had at the Laguna Seca disappeared. It’s not perfect, but the bike feels much better and I’m really enjoying riding it a lot”.
“I don’t know if we’ll be able to fight for the podium, because many guys are in the fight and we are very close to each other, but we will try everything to fight for our best place of the season”, Baz adds.
Will we see Baz take his S1000RR to its first podium of the year? Find out tomorrow, starting at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT) with the Superpole 1 and 2, thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.