Almost a year has gone by since Loris Baz started the Superbike adventure with the Ten Kate team. It was the weekend of Jerez and the Frenchman turned up at the starting blocks on a Yamaha. With the R1, the Frenchman has got close to the podium on several occasions, which is the goal it has set itself to achieve in 2020, or even the top step.
He is not lacking in talent and in Yamaha they know it well, so much so that Dosoli is evaluating all of the Yamaha riders with one eye on 2021. Despite the lockdown due to the coronavirus, the rider market is still active, and nobody wants to be caught off guard.
"Dosoli is evaluating me? That’s something that gives me great pleasure,” he said. “In this year of experience with Ten Kate I think we have grown a lot and the results are clear. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet managed to get on the podium, but inside me I am aware that it is a goal within our reach, as well as victory. That's what we are working for. "
Loris, how have you been spending this period?
“I was in France and now I am here in Switzerland in Nyon to train. A few kilometres from where I live is Pedrosa, with whom I have a good relationship. I try to keep fit, even if I miss riding my bike tremendously. I can't wait to get back on the Yamaha. "
To date, the only round held has been Phillip Island. What importance can we give to that round, where you finished seventh and eighth?
“In Australia I wanted to fight for the win, but I think I was unlucky, especially in Race 2, after that contact with Toprak. Unfortunately, I still had the 2019 version of the engine at the first race and as a result I am curious to see what my potential will be with the new one once the season starts again."
How much do you think the Yamaha has changed?
“The R1 is incredibly smooth and this is an aspect that I consider fundamental. It is really simple and as a result riding it is natural. The only aspect where we need to take a step forward is perhaps the top speed, but I expect to see something different on the restart. "
Loris, it looks like it’s going to be a six or seven race world championship. What do you make of that?
“It will be a really complicated championship, because if you make a mistake once, you are virtually out of the game since it becomes difficult to recover. At the same time, however, we must try and win and to do it we need to push hard. We will have to see what happens.”
Who do you think could be the anti-Rea?
"Me (he smiles). In 2020 there are many strong riders and each one has particular qualities. To date, I still have doubts about Race 2 at Phillip Island. On that occasion Johnny was beatable, but nobody ran the risk of passing him during the race. Of course, Lowes won, but many other riders could get in front of him. "
On-the-spot question: are you still thinking about MotoGP?
“No, I'm completely focused on Superbike, as it should be. Personally, however, I do not consider it a closed door in all respects, because if there were a possibility, I would make the most of it. I certainly don't want to find myself in the situation of a few years ago, where the project was not ambitious, and I could not express my true potential. In Superbike I had a chance to start over again, I took some time, and today I think it was the correct choice "
Staying on the subject of MotoGP, is it a surprise for you to see Quartararo on the official Yamaha from 2021?
"No not at all. Fabio is a friend and a pure talent. If Yamaha hadn't put him in the official team it would have been really strange. In his life he has faced difficult moments but has always managed to overcome them. I think that after what he showed in 2019, he deserved this opportunity, it is logical. He is still missing a win, but I am convinced that it will come soon.”
And Zarco on the other hand?
“I don't know him so I can't judge. I can't say much more about Johann, certainly the choices he has made in recent years have been quite strange for him, I can’t really understand them”.