Loris Baz photographed by us in Misano after his first podium for Ten Kate Yamaha in the first race and heavy rain on June 22, 2019 – the Frenchman had shown a very impressive season. Even though his Dutch team only started with him in Jerez from round 6 of 13, they finished 10th in the World Championship. In MotoAmerica things are not going according to plan for him at the moment.

Ex-WSBK star Loris Baz threatens to fail in MotoAmerica

We still remember the words about the change of the fast Frenchman before he went to the USA due to a lack of offers from WorldSBK. Baz accepted an offer from the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York team because Ten Kate had to forego their participation in their third year with Yamaha due to the pandemic and unfavorable season planning by FIM and Dorna with two sinfully expensive overseas races. The veteran had been able to convince the Dutch team before. But of course he didn’t know many routes in the United States before. Against this background, we were surprised by the full-bodied announcements that the goal was the title, in order to possibly return to the WSBK as US champions.

Photographed by us in Phillip Island (Australia) at the season opener at Turn 4 called Honda Corner on March 1, 2020, with Loris Baz fourth from left on the Ten Kate Yamaha and the number 76. He was seventh and once down under twice eighth.

The possibly missing memory of the man from Sallanches
Anyone who, like the blue and white, spits big tones before the start of the season using the example of 2020 and this season, will have to deliver at some point. Otherwise, they need crisis-experienced speakers like KTM employed in the first three MotoGP as almost the most important part of the crew. What is most astonishing about Baz and his announcement before joining MotoAmerica is that in 2009, as a Superstock 1000 rider on a Yamaha, he must have seen up close how a man from exactly this series won the WSBK title straight away. It was Ben Spies, and exactly he praised his compatriot Garrett Gerloff before his move to the 2020 season, although he had “only” finished third in MotoAmerica before he came to WorldSBK. However, the Texan soon showed what he was made of on routes that were almost entirely new to him and agreed with the 2009 world champion when it came to his assessment. In Barcelona and Estoril it was significantly better from the Baz, which comes from the French Alps southeast of Geneva.

The podium at the Nürburgring with second-placed Ben Spies (Yamaha), winner Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa (both Ten Kate Honda) from the left. Back then, Baz was still a so-called nobody in the Superstock 1000 category when an American from Tennessee won the Superbike World Championship with a total of 14 victories.

The “BMW Syndrome” made Loris think several times
At the season opener in the USA everything went completely wrong and with a crash and a technical defect, Baz was left with no points. In the second lap it went much better at the Virginia International Raceway and after a fourth place in race 1, the first podium followed in the second race with P2. The third round of MotoAmerica was held at the same time as his former WSBK colleagues in Misano. Located north of Milwaukee and near Lake Michigan, the Frenchman finished second again in the first race, but then followed in the second race with another retirement, jokingly referred to as “BMW Syndrome” in the WSBK paddock. Now the world championship eighth of 2020 as the best private driver for Ten Kate in the US championship is only in seventh intermediate place. Compared to the second Mathew Scholtz, he has less than half as many points with 53, and he is already 72 points short of Leader Jake Gagne. He also drove in the WSBK in 2017, but had no chance on a private Honda at the time and only finished seventeenth in the World Championship. For Baz, the pressure is now growing tremendously, even if he still has every chance of making the top 3.

Winter test for Kawasaki Racing with works drivers Loris Baz (left) and Tom Sykes. In the following year, the Greens, who always appeared in black in the off-season, signed a certain Jonathan Rea from Northern Ireland instead of Baz. He then moved to MotoGP for 3 years, where he was unable to assert himself, as was the case with Eugene Laverty, for example. Later both went back to the WSBK.

Unless otherwise mentioned, applies to all images (© WorldSBK).