French talent for Motorpoint Yamaha

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French teenager Loris Baz will become the fifth rider to have ridden in Motorpoint Yamaha colours this year when he replaces injured Andrew Pitt at this weekend’s Croft BSB round.

Baz won the 2008 FIM Superstock 600 Champion at 15 years old, and now the 17-year old from Sallanches is currently racing an R1 run by the Morillas Racing School in the FIM Superstock 1000 class where he’s running sixth overall and top Yamaha.

Team boss Rob Mac said: “This is a great opportunity for my team. We had planned to test Loris after Croft but with Andrew not fully fit we decided to enter Loris in the Croft event. At 15 he won the World Junior Superstock and is tipped to be one of the new stars of the future.

“Loris follows the British Championships, watching all the Brits at the front of the World Superbike races every weekend he knows the series is the most competitive in the World and can’t wait to join in.

Yamaha France are very supportive of Loris joining our team and the British Championships, thanks to them, Yamaha Europe and Yamaha UK we have managed to get this together. Dan Linfoot raced with Loris in 2008 and is looking forward to showing him around his home circuit.”

Baz will be the team’s fifth rider this year. McElnea set out on the 2010 season with former World and BSB champion Neil Hodgson, teamed with up and coming Dan Linfoot with access to the 2009 title-winning factory Yamahas ridden by Leon Camier and James Ellison in GSE Racing colours.

But after Hodgson got hurt in the first round at Brands, and subsequently retired, the team has never found a settled rhythm to become one of the great disappointments of the 2010 season.

Linfoot has shown glimpses of his potential but crashes and the lack of a recognised top name to feed off from the other side of the garage. As a result, he’s slipped way down in the rankings.

Ian Lowry was drafted in to replace Hodgson but before he got a chance to settle, was replaced by Pitt, largely in a bid to boost morale among the team’s major backers.

McElnea was hoping the Aussie could turn the team’s fortunes around but, at the one round where he hoped he could score big results, Pitt became the unfortunate victim Alastair Seeley’s crashed Suzuki and has since been sidelined by injury.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin