Unfortunately for Loris Baz, there was no return to MotoGP™ racing at GoPro British Grand Prix after he stepped in to replace the injured Pol Espargaro at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
However, the Frenchman was still able to enjoy two days back on a MotoGP™ bike at Silverstone in a factory team – something he’s never done before: “It was great to be able to ride for an official team, I had never done it in MotoGP™. I was well received and enjoyed riding all weekend, even though I knew it was going to be complicated. I would dream to get back on this bike.”
Aforementioned, Baz came in to replace Espargaro, with the WorldSBK rider expecting the Spaniard to be ready for a return in Misano: “The timing was a bit difficult for Pol at Silverstone. However, everything suggests that he will have recovered for Misano, that’s what I hope. It was kind of all or nothing for me. My Superbike team had allowed me to race. You can never turn down an opportunity like this. But I have a season to finish in WorldSBK.”
The Gulf Althea BMW Racing Team rider, despite not having too much dry track time, was also impressed with KTM’s aerodynamic fairing at Silverstone: “It was a great addition for me. At the beginning I had a bit of a problem with the fast turns and, once they put on the aerodynamic fairing, I really felt the difference. It’s a great help, but to tell the truth, I didn’t have much time. There wasn’t a lot of time to ride in the dry.”
And what about his compatriot Fabio Quartararo, who makes the step up to the premier class with the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team in 2019? “I'm very happy for him! In fact, we get along very well. He has been criticised recently, but he’s lost none of his talent. Before, it was absolutely necessary to be World Champion, to climb to MotoGP™. Now, things have changed a bit, we give the rider a chance earlier. Fabio is aware of what awaits him, but I think he will arrive in a great way. Nobody would have refused such a proposal! I really wish him the best, I hope he will get some great results.”