MotoGP: Baz ready for season with ‘brand new foot’

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Avintia Ducati rider Loris Baz says he’s ready to get the 2017 MotoGP season underway, following an injury-hit 2016 that saw him miss many races and forced him into multiple surgeries to repair damage that on multiple occasions was far from his fault.

But, fully healed and sporting a ‘brand new foot,’ the Frenchman says he now can’t wait to get going again next weekend at the first of the pre-season tests in Malaysia.

“Everything went perfectly well with the surgery and now I have a brand new foot! I can’t wait any more, because although it was good to disconnect from MotoGP for a couple of weeks, I really missed riding the bike. I started doing some ice-riding at home and I also went to Rossi’s Ranch. Even though the weather was horrible, it was an amazing experience. We are getting stronger and I also had the chance to ride the Ducati Panigale in Valencia last week. And If the weather is good, I’ll race at Requena’s flat track this weekend.”

Baz has a new challenge ahead of himself this year too, upgrading from the Ducati GP14 machine he rode last season onto a GP15 machine; something that he’s relishing after two tests on the new bike at the end of 2016.

“The feeling was good. The main thing is that I had no chatter problems at all at both circuits. The bike feels better; you can see it is a newer bike. Both chassis and engine are clearly an evolution compared with last year’s bike. Hector showed during last season that it’s possible to achieve good results with a two-year old bike. I think I will be closer to the front, the feeling was good from the first time out, and this is positive.

“During the last two tests I confirmed that I still know how to ride a bike. I hope to have more luck during this season, but I don’t want to set any goals, because last year we did and were not able to achieve them. I think that we have to go step by step and try to enjoy riding the bike. If we can do that, we will be fast and if we are fast, everybody will be happy. So we have to go test by test and race by race, because last year we did really well during the winter test, but then the season was a disaster. I want to be ready for the first race in Qatar and this is what we will work for during the winter tests.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer