MotoGP: Xavi Forés to replace injured Loris Baz

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Avintia Ducati rider Loris Baz will miss another round of the 2016 MotoGP championship thanks to injury, with the Frenchman set to sit out this weekend’s Misano Grand Prix after breaking his ankle again in a horrific collision at Silverstone on Sunday.

The former British Superbike racer was collected along with Pol Espargaró when the pair made evasive action to avoid other riders in the opening corners of Sunday’s frantic British Grand Prix.

Originally diagnosed with nothing more than a sprain, further medical examination revealed fractures to the foot he badly broke earlier this season, and will see him resting up this weekend instead of racing.

“It is a real shame the news I got once I came to visit my doctors in Switzerland, and I didn’t expect it. But after several tests, they saw some fractures on my right foot. The main fractures are on my tibia and astragalus. It’s not possible to have surgery and now is just time and rest. So I’m forced to miss the Misano race.

“Anyway, I still fortunate not having serious injuries following the crash at Silverstone. I feel bad and sorry for my team, because we were coming back and improving in the last few races. It’s a shame, but I’ll try my best to come back as soon as possible and finish the year in the best possible way. This was another hard blow in my season after the one from Mugello, but I have to be positive and look forward.

“I hope Xavi enjoys this weekend. MotoGP bikes are incredible, and I’m sure he’ll enjoy a lot. He’ll also have a great team behind, and I’ll be there in case he needs any advice. I’m sure he won’t forget the experience.”

The Barni Ducati World Superbike rider will instead line up in his place on the grid – and says he’s relishing the opportunity to try out a Grand Prix machine.

“I’m really happy for this opportunity with the Avintia Racing team. I’m sure this will be a positive experience for me. My aim is to enjoy the maximum and leave the pressure at home. I have nothing to demonstrate, the bike is completely different to anything I’ve ridden before. I have to be clever because everything will be new for me, so I only want to enjoy. Riding a MotoGP bike is a dream for every rider, and I’m looking forward to start the weekend to enjoy and live the experience.

“It will be crucial not to make any mistake and don’t get hurt, because I have to race in Germany next week with my WSBK team. I’ll use this weekend like a training session before my next race, and I’ll try to enjoy as much as possible riding the MotoGP bike.

“Misano is one of my favourite circuits and there I got my best results so far this season in WSBK. So it is the best possible scenario to start to work with an unknown bike. I what to say big thanks to Avintia Racing, Ducati and specially my team, Barni Racing for letting me race. And I also want to wish Loris a fast recovery. Keep calm; I’ll take care of your BabyDesmo.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer