WSB Jerez: Loris Baz returns as Chaz Davies is ruled out
Loris Baz will return to the World Superbike Championship at Jerez this weekend as a replacement for the injured Chaz Davies.
The Frenchman will join the Team GoEleven Ducati squad in Spain, with Davies still recovering from the injuries he sustained in Barcelona last weekend. The Welshman broke two ribs in a crash during the Superpole race at the with Lucas Mahias.
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Since his WorldSBK departure at the end of 2020, Baz has been competing in the MotoAmerica Superbike class for Ducati. As things stand, Baz sits fourth overall in the championship after taking nine podiums in his debut campaign. Baz has finished second on five occasions.
"First of all, I want to wish Chaz a quick recovery, it's never nice when a rider has an injury and I hope he gets back on the bike soon," Baz said. "I thank Team Go Eleven for the opportunity given, as well as Ducati and my team in America, HSBK, and Ducati New York, for letting me come back to Europe earlier than expected to be able to participate in the next WorldSBK races.
"It was a last-minute deal, I still have to fix everything to take the flight, but I can't wait to be in Jerez, a track I really like, and get on the Superbike version of the Ducati V4-R. I'll do my best and give 100% as always!"
The 28-year-old has enjoyed two previous stints in the WorldSBK paddock. Between 2012 and 2014, Baz secured two victories, both at Silverstone, and 14 podiums on Kawasaki machinery. He ended the 2014 season fifth overall before moving to MotoGP.
Baz returned in 2018 with the GULF Althea BMW team, before joining forces with the returning Ten Kate Racing squad in June 2019. Onboard the Yamaha YZF-R1 Baz ended the year 10th overall, despite missing the opening five rounds of the season.
Things improved further in 2020 when Baz secured four podiums, including a best result of second in his home round at Magny-Cours, on his way to eighth overall in the standings.
"I just spoke with Chaz, he's fine, but he's angry at not being able to be with us on the track," Denis Sacchetti, Team GoEleven Team Manager, added. "Now his goal is to recover as soon as possible for the season finale. I'm sure Loris will be able to hold our flag high.
"He has already demonstrated what he is capable of. He is a strong, fast rider, he has a lot of experience although he is still very young, and he also knows the characteristics of the V4 R, a bike with which he has just raced in the American championship. I want to thank Loris for having accepted this new challenge I can't wait to see him on the track with our colours!"
Tom Sykes has also been ruled out of action following his crash in Barcelona last weekend. Sykes was diagnosed with a severe concussion and will therefore be replaced by Eugene Laverty at the factory BMW team.