Loris Baz keen on Forward Yamaha move

Published: 02 October 2014

Loris Baz is hoping Forward Yamaha can save his MotoGP dream after the shock collapse of a proposed move to Aspar Honda in 2015.

Aspar Honda rejected Baz for a production RC213V-RS alongside Nicky Hayden because of his 6ft 3in frame, even though he had signed an agreement during last month's WSB clash in Jerez.

The Frenchman, who is currently riding for Kawasaki’s official factory team in World Superbikes, attended last weekend’s Motorland Aragon round in Spain to try and salvage a MotoGP deal.

Forward Racing has emerged as leading candidate to sign Baz, who would partner German Stefan Bradl on Yamaha’s YZR-M1 Open class project if he agreed a deal.

Forward Racing boss Giovanni Cuzari confirmed to MCN that he is locked in talks with Baz and an announcement on the team’s second rider could be made during the next race in Japan.

Baz though is very keen on securing the vacant Forward Yamaha seat after seeing Aleix Espargaro’s brilliant performances in 2014, with the Spaniard claiming a pole position in Assen and stunning podium in Aragon on a bike heavily based on last year’s YZR-M1.

Baz told MCN: “Forward Yamaha is really interesting because Aleix (Espargaro) has been doing an amazing job and it would be a great opportunity. I had signed four weeks ago and then I ended up in a big hole so I’m not saying too much.”

Baz said he believes the collapse of his Aspar Honda deal was all down to the Spanish-based squad and not because of the intervention of HRC about his size on the production RC213V-RS.

He said: “I don’t think it was HRC. I think Aspar was scared of my size. Honestly I don’t think it is a big problem but that’s what they said. The Yamaha looks a bigger bike but I don’t think it was going to be a big problem even on the Honda.

"If it is with Yamaha I think it could be better but I am not thinking too much about the problem of my size. Everybody else seems more worried than me about this.”

Baz is determined to make the switch to MotoGP, despite the Aspar fiasco and he says he is ready for the challenge of taking on the world’s elite in 2015.

He added: “It is going to be a big challenge but I think if you are ready to learn from zero you can do it. Everybody thinks it is better to take a rider from Moto2 but Cal Crutchlow did really well at Tech 3 and Ben Soies had a bad last season but his first two in MotoGP were great.

"I am sure I can make something good but you have to be clever to learn from zero again. What I have learned in World Superbikes will help me one day but I will have to start from zero.”