Loris Baz back on BMW in WorldSBK | “The M 1000 RR has a lot of strong points”

Loris Baz makes his official full return to WorldSBK ahead of the 2022 season completing his first laps aboard the Bonovo BMW M 1000 RR in Jerez

BMW M 1000 RR - Loris Baz, 2022 WorldSBK

Loris Baz kicked off his preparations for a full-time return to the WorldSBK grid in 2022 with his first test as part of the Bonovo action Racing Team at Jerez.

The Frenchman will make a welcome return to WorldSBK after a year spent racing in the United States after penning a deal with the German-based Bonovo team, which is expanding from entering a single BMW M 1000 RR entry for ex-MotoGP rider Jonas Folger to run Baz and Eugene Laverty in 2022.

A former MotoGP rider himself, Baz is considered one of WorldSBK’s trusted hands having made his debut in 2012 with the factory Kawasaki Racing Team. His three years there, plus a stint on the Ten Kate Yamaha in 2019 and 2020, brought him two wins and 20 podiums.

Even so, he was surprisingly frozen off the grid in 2021 when Ten Kate Racing opted to focus on WorldSSP, Baz instead taking up Ducati’s challenge in MotoAmerica.

However, it was during a two-round substitute stint with Go Eleven Ducati in place of the injured Chaz Davies that returned Baz to the ‘shop window’ with a pair of podiums in Portimao leading to a bidding war for his services.

Ultimately, Baz chose a return to the manufacturer he competed with in 2018 under the Althea Racing guise, though the three-day test in Jerez is his first on the new BMW M 1000 RR.

 “I am happy to be back with BMW and the opportunity to be back in WorldSBK. I was really looking forward to that test to have a first impression. The test was a lot of work, we did a lot of laps. 

“Also, I was back on the bike after nearly three months and it is never easy when you jump on a bike that is completely different. The test was about understanding how the bike works and also to try to give the best input based on the differences of all the bikes I know. 

“The M RR has a lot of strong points, we just need to put them together to get a bike that works well from a riding side. When you start working with a new bike, you have to switch from one riding style to another, but we did a good job, completing over 150 laps. 

“We tried some new parts for next year and mainly a lot of things on the electronics, and with every run we went faster, and I felt a bit more confident on the bike. I am satisfied with the job so far.”