Loris Baz will return to the Superbike World Championship in 2018 with Althea BMW, it has been announced.
The former factory Kawasaki rider, who achieved a best finish of 5th place in 2014, returns to the series after losing his seat with the Avintia Ducati MotoGP team earlier this year.
While it’s been known Baz would return to WorldSBK since earlier this year, who he would ride for has been subject to much speculation with the tall Frenchman linked to the Red Bull Honda team and MV Agusta before finally signing with the former World Championship-winning Althea squad, which goes back to a one-bike effort for 2018. Baz will get his first taste of the S1000RR at Jerez next week.
“I wanted to find the best solution for my future and I think I have found this in team Althea,” Baz says. “I have known Genesio for a long time, so we talked and, to be honest, it was very easy to come to an agreement. I know the team is strong – they won the title with Carlos Checa after all – and I consider the project a very interesting one, also in light of the changes to the regulation. I’m very happy with my decision. I want to thank Genesio Bevilacqua and BMW of course, and am looking forward to getting out on track with the S1000RR for the first time during the upcoming Jerez tests.”
Baz’s move means it’s likely American Jake Gagne will get the second seat at Red Bull Honda alongside British rider Leon Camier.
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