2 years ago
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Loris Baz, currently racing for Gulf Althea BMW Racing in WorldSBK, will be back in the MotoGP™ paddock at the GoPro British Grand Prix as he steps in to replace the injured Pol Espargaro at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
INFO @polespargaro ???? has been declared not fully fit (collarbone) after recent injury at #CzechGP. ????♂️— KTM Factory Racing (@KTM_Racing) 21 août 2018
Therefore @lorisbaz will replace him on the weekend @MotoGP #BritishGP ???????? riding his #KTM #RC16. ????#GetWellSoon #OrangeFamily #GivesYouWings
???? @kinmarcinphoto pic.twitter.com/7vnzZecjGN
The Frenchman reveals his thoughts ahead of Silverstone:
How did the opportunity come about?
First of all, I want to wish the best recovery to Pol, then it happened pretty fast yesterday. I had a call from my manager asking me if I wanted to do and I said yes of course, then we had to get confirmation from my Superbike team and Genesio Bevilacqua, they gave us the freedom to ride this weekend on another bike, so a massive thanks to him because I really wanted to do it. Then yeah, some organisation to find some leathers and a helmet because I’m at home in Spain, but yeah we found everything and I’m just really happy.
Did it come as a total surprise to you or have you been in contact with KTM?
My manager was in contact with them because he’s also the manager of Randy (de Puniet) and he’s their test rider until the end of the season, so they were in contact and KTM were thinking of me when Pol said he couldn’t ride this weekend. I’m happy and proud of that and yeah, I will try my best to have a good weekend and be the best replacement rider I can be.
How will you approach the fact you’re on a bike you’ve never ridden before and in a team you don’t know… are you nervous?
No not at all, I’m just happy. You can’t expect incredible things when you just have a shot like this on the bike when you don’t test before so I’ll try to enjoy it as much as possible and do my best, trying to give the team my best information and do the best we can. I’m not expecting crazy things, I’ll try to enjoy riding this bike and there are some people in the team I’ve worked with in the past, I’ll try to enjoy the experience as it will be the first time in a long time that I’ve ridden for a factory team. It will be fun, I was complaining about the long break in Superbike and that I wanted to ride so it’s the best test.
What’s your realistic aim for the weekend?
Honestly, I don’t know, I know the tyres, it’s not a long time since I was here but I will have to get used to these tyres and the bike but we will see, I will do my best every session and if we score points it will be great.
How does it feel to go back to the MotoGP™ paddock?
Yeah, I’m happy, it’s where every rider wants to be. I have my season going in Superbike which isn’t easy and I have a great opportunity to ride one of these bikes again. I know it’s only a race and there is nothing more to expect but it will be a great experience, I will try to enjoy, learn and help the team as much as I can. I just want to thank them for this opportunity and on Sunday night we will be looking forward to Superbike again. It’s a special thing and it will be fun.
Is there potential to replace Pol at any more GPs or will it only be Silverstone?
No, it will only be Silverstone, I really think that, well everyone thinks that Pol will be back really soon and everyone was thinking he’d be back for Silverstone, that’s why it’s been a bit of a rush to find a rider when in the end he couldn’t make it. So, I think he’ll be ready for the next race, I don’t think any rider in the world wishes to replace another rider and it’s never an easy thing, so I hope he can be back on his bike soon.
Does winning at Silverstone in the past with Superbike and knowing people in the team help with your confidence?
Yeah, it’s a track I like. Of course, I prefer to ride in Silverstone than Sachsenring, it’s a track I love and I have good memories, I also have some bad ones but I’m sure it’s one of the best tracks for me to have a shot like this. I will not have to fight against the track or learn the track so yeah it’s a good thing.
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