Top ten reward for Baz, Ten Kate after ‘flying Friday’ start

Loris Baz turns fortunes around with a top ten finish despite a huge accident on Friday and technical issues ruled him out of one race altogether

Loris Baz says he can be pleased with a top ten return to World Superbike Championship action after seven months on the sidelines and a dramatically destructive start to his weekend in Jerez.

Making his first appearance of the season after securing a deal with the reformed Ten Kate SBK team – this time running Yamaha machinery – Baz’s Jerez comeback got off to a ‘flying’ start with an accident in FP2 that sent his R1 airborne and necessitated a sizeable repair job.

Nonetheless, an unharmed Baz was back on track for race one to score points in 12th and while technical issues stopped him from getting out at all for the Superpole Race, his run to ninth in race two was a positive end to an eventful weekend.

“It wasn’t so much fun at the start of the day, but we definitely finished with a smile,” the former MotoGP rider said. “We had a technical issue with the bike in warm up and we weren’t able to fix the problem ahead of the sprint race, unfortunately.

“We managed to resolve the issue for Race 2, but I started with a bike that was set up completely differently to yesterday, so the first laps were all about understanding the bike.

“I was feeling more confident than yesterday and able to go faster as the race progressed. I’m happy; I still need to improve a little bit, but it was a good start after seven months off the bike.

“Thanks to the team, as it’s taken a lot of hard work to get us here and thanks also to Yamaha, who gave us a good direction with the set-up of the bike. Now I can’t wait to get to Misano.”

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