SUNNYVALE, CA – April 6, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s star recruit for the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, French sensation Loris Baz, enjoyed a stellar start to his MotoAmerica career during the Dunlop Pre Season Test, held at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX, last week.
Former WorldSBK and MotoGP protagonist Baz completed a mammoth 104 laps of the 3.426-mile venue on the Ducati Panigale V4 R SBK over the two days, topping Day One with a 2:08.595s lap on lap 12 of his fourth riding session late in the afternoon.
Changeable weather conditions with increased winds saw Baz slip to fourth overall during the second day of action at COTA after a minor low speed fall at turn one. However, his Day One time would see him finish a brilliant second overall at the test’s conclusion behind Suzuki’s Bobby Fong, who topped Day Two with a time of 2:08.343s.
Baz had many things to adapt to during his debut on the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York Ducati Panigale V4 R SBK, including a new team, Dunlop tires after a career spent on Pirelli in WorldSBK and Michelin in MotoGP, and the characteristics of a V4 Ducati superbike following a superbike career spent on inline four-cylinder machinery.
2021 MotoAmerica Dunlop Preseason Test Results – Top 5
P1 – B. Fong (Suzuki) 2:08.343
P2 – L. Baz (Ducati) 2:08.595
P3 – J. Gagne (Yamaha) 2:08.902
P4 – M. Scholtz (Yamaha) 2:08.957
P5 – J. Herrin (Yamaha) 2:09.642
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“It was a very good test,” Baz enthused. “I enjoyed it a lot. We went through a lot of things and did a lot of laps. It was a long, long time on the bike.
“We didn’t make too many changes on the bike, just trying to understand the direction we need to go (regarding set-up). We spent the first day trying to understand the different tires we had at this test. And then the second day we worked more on race distance, trying to work with worn tires. It was really productive.
“I had a good feeling with the Dunlop tire. It’s completely different than the Pirelli in WorldSBK and the Michelin in MotoGP. The Dunlop is a hard carcass so the tire is pretty reactive over the bumps, so I wanted to get used to this. I wanted to adapt myself to the way I need to ride the bike and the tire. The tire was working well on the longer run, no big drama. It didn’t take long to get used to this.
“The bike is strong. You feel from the first lap that this is a real race bike with strong potential. It has a strong engine. It’s pretty stable on the brakes—although it’s a little bit reactive with the wings and the wind—so I had to get used to this. It’s a physical bike to ride, but I really enjoy it. You need to use your body a lot to turn the bike, and it’s really reactive on the change of direction, but it’s a real race bike so that’s normal.”
Round One of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship will be held at Road Atlanta on April 30-May 2, 2021.
Source: Ducati Motor Holding SpA