Loris Baz escapes unhurt from 180mph crash

Michelin has since withdrawn soft-compound rear tyre

LORIS Baz has escaped unhurt after a 290km/h crash down the main straight of the Sepang International Circuit after his rear tyre developed an issue. 

It was a calm start for Loris Baz on Tuesday in Sepang, as he slowly improved his lap times during his first outing.

As the French rider pushed for a fast lap he suffered a dramatic crash at over 290km/h which launched him from his bike down the straight. This halted Tuesday's test by over an hour.

With Avintia finding no mechanical fault, Michelin began to analyse the rear tyre from Baz's bike. Avintia Racing stressed that they followed the recommendations of the Michelin engineer at all times.

Without enough time to run full tests, Michelin removed the soft compound rear that Baz was running as a precaution. This left the rest of the MotoGP grid with only the hard option available.

Despite the fall Baz was able to get back out on track in the afternoon, but did not improve his time and ended Tuesday in 19th. 

Explaining how today's events unfolded, Baz said: 'The start of the day was good. We used the soft tyre to try to improve the lap times and, although the lap was not incredible, we were able to improve the lap time from yesterday.

'But then we had a problem with the rear tyre and I crashed out at 290km/h and my bike was destroyed. Fortunately I was unhurt, but you always loose energy after this kind of accident, because even if you don’t have anything serious, you feel all your muscles like if you have been training during 20 hours.

'My mechanics made a great job to put the bike back on track for the last two hours. It was not bad, but I felt a little bit tired riding the bike and I didn’t want to push and crash again. But I matched the same lap time from yesterday testing some suspension parts that I didn’t like too much.'

Baz was checked by the MotoGP medical team and no injuries were found meaning the Frenchman will be back on track tomorrow for the final day of testing.

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