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Author: Sienna Wedes

Title: Loris Baz “I think when you are a racer, you always want to win”

Every rider has a difficult, challenging season that tests him in unimaginable ways, 2016 was that year for Loris Baz. However, 2017 is a brand new season with every challenge looked upon as nothing but positive opportunities.

Riders in this highly competitive sport see themselves inflicted with many injuries. Loris Baz was victim to a nasty crash in 2016 at the Mugello GP, which left him in need of surgery and time to mend his broken right foot. With the arrival of the Sepang test the Avintia MotoGP team have set their sights on working hard with Loris Baz in order to make sure he takes the initial steps forward to feel more and more comfortable on his GP15.

Q: How are you feeling here in Malaysia for the Sepang Test?  

Loris: Good! It is good to be back on the bike after the long winter but also it’s good to ride fit again. It’s not so much pain so I am happy.

Q: On a scale of 1-10 how physically prepared are you for the Sepang Test and 2017? 

Loris: Well, I am still not 100% for sure because I had the surgery in December so I started the training; not really late but in January so I think I need maybe one more month to be really ready. But, that wasn’t on the schedule because we know the season starts in March. It wasn’t really important to be 100% here; I think to do some laps here it will be okay. If I make a race simulation of course it is going to be hard but so far everything is going good and I will be feeling better in Australia and I think I’ll be 100% for the test in Qatar. 

Q: What did you do on the off-season to ensure you were physically fit and prepared to take on 2017?

Loris: I had the surgery, which was the most important thing this winter. Then I started training more the same as every time in January. I just try to make some more stretching to be a bit more flexible on the bike because we try to ride with a normal position on the bike and not the one I need. So, I need to be more flexible to not have the same pain on the bike as I have in the past. That’s what we did and then just the normal training. 

Q: Do you have a personal trainer that works with you on that or do you do it on your own?

Loris: Yeah, I am working with the same guy since I think 10 years. He knows me very well and knows what I need. I can talk with him if I need something special and this is good with him. 

Q: With a new bike and new chief engineer this year, has your outlook on the season ahead changed and do you have clear goals this season?

Loris: The good thing is I continue with the same team so I don’t have to learn everything again and I am with the same bike more or less with the Ducati. This is a good thing, but I try not to put any targets for me because last year I had a lot of targets and I didn’t achieve any one of them because of the injuries and everything. I’m just trying to enjoy riding and to learn a lot and take it step by step. We will see at the first race what we can hope.

Q: So far, what have you worked on with the bike? What has been a priority?

Loris: Well, most of the day I have tried to change my style to be a little bit more gentle with the gas to save the tyre. That’s what we are doing most now, trying to change a little bit my style and then trying to learn the bike, we tried a few things that worked pretty well. I am happy with how that went. 

Q: Have you noticed a difference with the selection of Michelin tyres compared to last year? 

Loris: We are using the tyre that we tried at the end of the season in Valencia and also the test so we have information. I don’t think there will be so many problems like last year. They are really good and they know what they are doing but they needed one year to be at the level. I think now they are and they are not going to make the same mistake. For the moment the tyre we have here is working pretty well. 

Q: What are your expectations for the GP15?

Loris: The first feeling was really good, much better than the whole bike. But, also I was riding the old bike not good anymore because I was waiting till the end of the season because I just wanted to feel good with my feet again. So, I wasn’t, well I was pushing but I had so many problems I couldn’t solve and it was more me than the bike in the end. So, I was looking forward to riding the bike because I knew it was going to be completely different and it was also completely new for me so this was good. The first feeling in Valencia was good also and here we have a really good feeling so I am happy. I am happy with the bike really. 

Q: What does that do for your mindset after such a tough season?

Loris: I think every rider has the bad season where everything happens to him and we remember very well the season with Ben Spies with the Yamaha. But, every rider has a bad season like this and I think last year was mine. I think last year I was really unlucky and also got injured. So, it is not easy to come back at a good level during the season but I think I left the bad luck behind me and I am looking forward to this season because I hope everything is going to be normal for me this season. 

Q: We saw you went to Rossi’s ranch over the break and did some other activities like riding on ice in Switzerland. How’d you go against Eugene on Rossi’s ranch?

Loris: Unfortunately the race was cancelled on Sunday because of the rain and we nearly had some snow there so we only made a race on Saturday and we were not in the same group so I think we were nearly at the same lap times. I am not too sure but I think so. It was good fun but was a shame it was cancelled on the Sunday but I am looking forward to going back there again because I think he is going to make the race later this season.

Q: With those events that you do, do you find you have the same attitude and drive to win as you do racing a MotoGP bike or do you do it for more fun and training?  

Loris: Well, we always want to go fast and you always want to win. When you go there the first time you know you can’t win because I think others are riding there two or three times a week so they know the track well but you will always try to improve and go faster. I think when you are a racer… you always want to win. Always, always want to be faster.

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

Credit: Deborah Wedes

Credit: Patrick Wedes

About The Author

Sienna Wedes
PR Communications

Sienna manages all FORMULA Magazine social media platforms covering news on a daily basis with higher emphasis during MotoGP rounds. She coordinates specific interviews with race engineers and chief mechanics. Growing up in a motorsport family Sienna understands the sport and what the supporters and fans enjoy.