Loris Baz says is still aiming to be on the grid at the upcoming third round of the WorldSBK Championship after fracturing his leg and ankle in a freak accident during the most recent event in Indonesia.
The Frenchman - one of the tallest riders in the WorldSBK field - suffered the injuries when he was struck by the front-wheel of Alex Lowes’ Kawasaki as he dangled his leg into the ZX-10RR’s path under braking.
The nasty hit forced Baz to pull off track and tour back to the pit-lane, where he was lifted off his Bonovo BMW and taken to the medical centre.
A month on, Baz says the injury is healing well having benefited from the extended break between the two flyaway openers and the start of the European leg on the schedule.
With round three in the Netherlands still some three weeks away, Baz says it is not unrealistic to target a return for then, but he admits there is no guarantee.
“On Friday, it’ll be four weeks,” he said. “It’s still a bit early but the target is to be at Assen. I have to put this goal in my mind and I’m doing everything I can for this.”
“At the moment, I’m keeping with the same process. I’m training, having physio and trying to make the swelling go down day by day. It’s still a bit swollen but it’s normal. It’ll be the same process until the Dutch Round. Next Friday, on the 14th, I will see the surgeon again and have an x-ray and then that’s when we’re going to decide for Assen.
“It’s 99% sure it’s healing well because I would not be walking if it was not healing. We need an x-ray and check-up to be sure it’s okay to be racing at Assen.”
Providing an update on the recovery process, Baz says he can’t believe he was undergoing surgery only a couple of weeks earlier.
“The first time I went to the physio, he could not believe it was only two weeks after surgery,” he continued.
“My ankle is recovering in a good way. It’s improving every day. I’m happy. Last week, I was allowed to start putting some weight on the foot again and start with the physio. This week, I’ve been allowed to start cycling again.”
“Everything is improving. I’m doing some physio and then I walk a lot at home on the foot. I have everything to improve as much as I can. I just need to get back the strength in the foot and the mobility. At the moment, the ankle is still a bit locked.
“I’m walking and trying to get the upper leg strong again to stabilise the knee because the knee is the most painful at the moment, and the most disturbing thing is the knee more than the ankle.”