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Loris Baz talks exclusively to motogp.com about the Sepang test, his 290km/h crash and how he is adapting to the Ducati GP14.2.
Baz rode for Forward Yamaha in 2015 and finished as runner-up in the Open class with 28 points, before switching to the Avintia Racing team for 2016 aboard a Ducati GP14.2:
Loris, how are you after the Sepang crash and do you know exactly what happened yet?
“At the time I was a bit groggy, which is usual after a big crash. Luckily it could have been a lot worse, but I didn’t break anything and walked away with just a bruised elbow. The issue was with the tyre, but as the team complied with the recommended pressures, we still do not know what caused it. Hopefully we will find out before the Phillip Island test.”
How have you found the Ducati and how does it compare to the Yamaha from last season?
“So far I think I am adapting quite well. The Ducati GP14.2 has a more powerful engine compared to the Yamaha and it is more aggressive in its power delivery too, although it is difficult to compare the two with the new changes this year to the tyres and electronics. From the beginning I had a great feeling with the Ducati, but in Sepang it was a little more complicated. The crash cost us a lot of track time, then the next day we had rain, so in the end we didn’t get to put in the amount of laps others did and we could not carry out the testing program we wanted to. We still have a lot to do on the ergonomics of the bike so I can find the right position for me. At Phillip Island the team is bringing a different seat unit to try plus some alternative footrests that should allow me to be more comfortable on the bike and reduce the load on my body.”
In what areas do you still need to improve?
“Apart from the ergonomics there are a few areas we need to improve. In Sepang we suffered a lot with the rear tyre, but in Australia the track is very different. Therefore it will be vital to use the preseason tests at the three different circuits to solve these issues while we continue to adapt to the bike, tyres and electronics so that when we arrive at the race weekends we can adapt more easily.”
What has the support been like from Ducati?
“There are always two people from Ducati in our box as myself and Hector have our own dedicated telemetry experts. Then usually towards the end of the day we also get visited by some Ducati engineers and Paolo Ciabatti (Ducati Corse Sporting Director). They ask for our feedback, what we have been working on and they are involved with everything we do, which is nice.”
What are your goals for the Phillip Island test?
“I haven’t set myself any specific targets for the tests, I just want to get up to speed on the bike and adapt as quickly as possible without making mistakes. My aim is to be at my full potential by the first race in Qatar. I am not really worried about times as at this stage they are not important but obviously we want to be as close to the guys a the front as possible.”
Loris Baz will be in Andorra between the 24th-26th of February along with his teammate Hector Barbera for the official Avintia Racing presentation for the 2016 season.
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