Baz expecting "nothing" on his World Superbike return
Loris Baz has declared that he expects "nothing" on his return to the World Superbike championship at Jerez as he fills in for Chaz Davies at Go Eleven Ducati this weekend at Jerez.
French rider Baz has been drafted in by the one-bike Go Eleven operation to replace Davies, who has been ruled out of action after breaking his ribs in a crash during last weekend's Barcelona round.
It marks a return to the WSBK paddock for Baz for the first time since the end of the 2020 season, following the collapse of the Ten Kate Yamaha team that he rode for last year.
Since then he has been busy campaigning a Ducati in the MotoAmerica series, which wrapped up last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, finishing fourth overall in the riders' standings.
Despite the fact he will be on a fundamentally similar bike this weekend at Jerez, Baz says he is going into his first WSBK race weekend in just under a year with the pure aim of enjoying himself.
Asked about his expectations for the weekend in an interview with Motorsport.com's German edition, Baz replied: "Nothing, just enjoy. I'll just do my best like always, I give 100 percent every time on the bike.
"I had a 2019-spec bike more or less [in MotoAmerica], but here it’s the factory bike with all the latest updates. It’s a really strong bike, we know how strong the package is. So it’s a good opportunity for me.
"The good thing is I don’t have to learn the character of the bike, just the updates that are different. The goal for Friday is just try to get the feeling of the Pirelli [tyre] back, to understand the differences and find the set-up I want. We’ll start with something really basic and try to find the direction I like.
"For the races, I [just] want to have fun and enjoy. I was supposed to stay in America eating burgers for a week and now I’m here racing a bike, so I’m happy."
Baz suggested that replacing Davies at Jerez and the following weekend at Portimao is likely to provide a valuable experience for what he expects will be a second MotoAmerica season with the HSBK Ducati squad.
Pressed on whether a return to WSBK could still be possible, Baz said: "No more than if I was in America… I always said I want to be back here. I still have my place here, but I only want to come back if there’s a good bike and a good opportunity. If not, I prefer to stay in America.
"Ninety percent I will be in the US next year, but this time last year I was 100 percent sure I’d race a factory Yamaha in WSBK, and here I am. So things can change really fast. For now it’s here and Portimao, then we see."
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