Baz hits back at teammate Sykes

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Loris Baz has hit back at Kawasaki WSB teammate Tom Sykes ahead of this weekend’s round at Jerez, after a number of incidents all year long have increased tensions in the reigning champions’ pit box.

The issues, which have been simmering for most of the season, were brought to a head at Sepang, when Baz knocked off Sykes in race one. Sykes was quick to hit out at his teammate, saying “There has to be a line between team-mates. This is not the first time Loris has done something like this and he has proved a lot of people right at my expense.”

However, Baz, who sits fourth in the title with three rounds left, 72 points adrift of Sykes, has hit back at the reigning world champion.

“Everything was good until Sepang. He started to complain about it before that race but that was not a problem for me. There has always been a good spirit in the team. In Sepang, I made a mistake but it was not that bad. From that moment on, the atmosphere has changed. He was very upset but everyone tried to calm him down because these things can happen in racing and he also took other riders down at some point in his career.

“They were not his teammates, I did take down my teammate and it was very unlucky, but it is something that happens in races. We race with bikes that go over 180mph, with only a few centimetres between each of us. Mistakes are easy to make and in Sepang, I made one when I was trying to avoid him.”

With only three rounds left of the series following the cancellation of the South African race, Baz now has a lot of work left to do if he wants to close the gap on Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli and Jonathan Rea; something not helped by the cancellation of the Welkom race.

“It’s a shame because I lost quite a few points in the last round, and I needed as many races as possible in order to catch up the leaders. There are only three rounds left but the situation is the same for all of us. We are going on three tracks that can be good for me. I was fast in Jerez last winter. I know Magny-Cours very well and I really like this track. We will do our best to catch up and claim the second place. The first place is a bit far, but you never know!”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer