Over the Austrian race weekend, KTM bosses were already considering a replacement for Pol Espargarò at Silverstone, in case the Spaniard would be unable to compete. It is now clear that Pol needs more time to recover after fracturing his collarbone during a crash at Brno.
The problem is that test rider Mika Kallio is also out with injury and Randy De Puniet, hired to replace him during testing, has said he's not ready to compete in a MotoGP race if he cannot first test the RC16. An impossible ask, given the tight time frame.
There is one possible stand-in though and that's Loris Baz. (Indirect) confirmation appears to have arrived from France, with Christophe Guyot (team manager of the Yamaha GMT94 endurance team and Eurosport collaborator) announcing that the French rider will be on the MotoGP bike at Silverstone. The news came in the form of a tweet, which then mysteriously vanished.
Baz is nevertheless one of few riders who would be able to ride the KTM in a MotoGP race. Loris, now competing in SBK with team Althea, was riding in MotoGP up until last season and has two years of experience on a Ducati and another on the Yamaha CRT.
His profile fits, official confirmation may soon arrive.
UPDATE. The chances of seeing Loris Baz on the KTM at Silverstone are further increased given the latest update from Italy. We have heard that Genesio Bevilacqua, the owner of team Althea, has given the Frenchman permission to ride the MotoGP at Silverstone. The Italian team had already decided not to take part in SBK testing this week at Portimao, having no significant updates to test for BMW, and Bevilacqua did not want to deny Loris the possibility to get back on a MotoGP bike.