The Frenchman was back in the top six at Portimao after a mixed weekend saw him chip away and get the result he deserved!
After a crash in the Tissot Superpole session put him out of position, Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) put in a strong effort to fight back through the field and walk away from Portimao with a top six after Race 2. The Frenchman made gains in the Tissot Superpole Race, breaking into the crucial top nine to give himself a much better chance in Race 2 of scoring a good amount of points.
Starting from ninth, Baz hovered around the lower end of the top ten for much of the race, before kicking on and closing the gap to the squabbling quartet of Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and his teammate, Michael van der Mark, along with Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Baz was able to capitalise on mistakes by van der Mark as the Dutchman dropped back through the pack, taking a strong sixth place on the final lap and finishing as second Yamaha.
Speaking after the race, an elated Loris Baz said: “I am happy, I think we have done a good weekend in every session that doesn’t count for the championship unfortunately! I made a mistake in the Tissot Superpole and I still don’t have a very good feeling with the Superpole tyre, and I crashed. I started 15th in Race 1 and I managed to get to eighth before I crashed again.”
However, it wasn’t all bad for Baz as strong performances in Sunday’s races meant that he was able to utilise his strong race pace from Friday and achieve more point-scoring finishes.
“I lost a lot of time behind Tom Sykes, as he is not an easy guy to pass,” continued Baz, reviewing the action from Race 2. “I then started to catch Michael, and, in the end, we had a nice battle. I lost time again and I think I could’ve caught Leon and Alex, but it is good to fight with the factory guys too. I think we had top four pace today, but it is cool, because we are making small steps in the right direction with the team, and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Now, he heads to his home round at Magny-Cours, where he will be looking to deliver an expectant home crowd a very special result.
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