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WorldSBK Magny-Cours: Baz finally takes a hometown podium

For the first time in his WorldSBK career Loris Baz scored a podium finish at his home round in France.

A fast rider always, but particularly potent in the wet, Baz rode with the eventually ill-fated Garrett Gerloff until the American crashed - but he was a real threat to Rea for a while, even if he could not keep up with Rea’s astounding pace on the all-new Magny Cours asphalt.

“I am just happy, super-happy,” said Baz about his first time French podium. “In this kind of race you cannot complain when you already finish the race, then get on the podium. The pace was crazy from Johnny; I was feeling OK behind him, not over the limit.


“He was just faster in the first section and I was faster in the second and third, then he was again faster in the fourth so we were just closing and stretching – until I had a moment in the last chicane when I hit the kerb and I nearly highsided. I lost a second. I tried for two laps to push to come back but it was just too much risk because we were already in the 1’48s.

For 12 laps I was checking the time every lap and I thought, ‘That’s not possible, the pace he is putting in is crazy,' I knew the lap times and we were faster than all weekend and going faster every lap. Then I just tried to bring it home, checked the gap with Alex and it was pretty big. It was really tricky at the end, raining more and the grip from the tyres was down. It was cool so I have two more chances tomorrow.”

Baz raced with Gerloff for a time, and for him racing with the rookie is not different to anyone else.

“No it is racing. He touched me in the first corner in Montmelo but that is racing. Johan crashed and Dovizioso crashed but that is just racing. I am just happy in Montmelo that I did not crash with Johnny and I just a lost a lot of time. For sure he has nothing to lose and when you have nothing to lose it is a bit easier - but that is why it’s hats off to Johnny! He had a lot to lose and the pace today was crazy.”

Baz rejected the idea that this year has been filled with highs – podium finishes and good pace – and lows – crashes and lesser results.
“I think if we had two races in Portimao instead of two races in Aragon, then the whole season changes a lot but that’s life. We just had two races in a track where we never tested and it was a nightmare for us, really a nightmare.

“The second race the last Aragon weekend was good but we changed the bike and electronics every session even in the warm-up lap I was testing things in Aragon. That was tough but I thought Barcelona was not too bad, just some bad luck.

“The season was good overall. A short season, all together, no time to test like in Aragon, for example, for the team - and that’s it. I have been fast in Jerez, all three days, fast in Portimao, all three days. For sure the championship is not as good as I would like but I did some strong races, which is OK for me.”

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