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Baz Scores Brilliant First Win And Another Podium
|Monday, 06 August 2012 13:35|
Loris Baz took his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to a race one victory and then second place in race two at Silverstone, on a day when Tom Sykes defended his third place in the points table.
Baz won an incredibly confused first race, which was delayed as the weather went from reasonably dry towet, after pushing his way to the front of a group of riders who were running slick tyres on a damp surface. Risking a lot but riding assuredly Baz ignored that fact that this was only his 11th race start at this level of competition, and he became the second youngest rider in SBK history to win a full SBK race.
In race two, his 12th career SBK race, Baz finished second in strange circumstances. Running on wets on a track that got wetter and eventually covered in both oil and fuel from other rider’s machines, Baz hunted down early leaders Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz. When in the lead on lap ten Baz was to fall but the race was stopped soon after, and thanks to the count back rules, it as called a result after only eight laps, placing Loris second overall. Half points were awarded, so Loris got ten points and not the 20 he would have normally been awarded, with race winner Guintoli getting 12.5.
For Sykes the promise of much at Silverstone was washed away by the weather and simple bad luck. Having had his bike rebuilt before raceday his set-up in race one did not last all the distance, and his lap one lead ended up as eighth place. In race two he fell on oil or fuel, which had been spilled on a wet track and with many other riders he persuaded Race Control to stop the race. He would finally be classified 12th.
Most importantly for Tom, his main championship rivals also had tough days so he kept third place overall. He is now 51.5 points behind the leader Max Biaggi, and 41 points behind second place rider Marco Melandri.
Kawasaki Team Pedercini Superbike rider David Salom was 15th and then a retiree in race two. His team-mate at Silverstone David Johnson fell in the first attempt to run race one, and did not start the real race one or race two.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS) was only 0.2 seconds from the win after a strong ride from the Frenchman and a great fight from Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) put him third. In the points Staring is third, Guarnoni fourth, with three rounds remaining.
Loris Baz: “It is really special to win and to win in England because I raced here in BSB last year for a while. I would also like to thank Kawasaki for believing in me. We made no mistakes in race one and finished up front. I think in the dry we are also really fast and we can fight for the first five or seven places.
I chose the slick tyre because it was the best choice in race one. The conditions in race one were crazy for a while and early on I was missing some grip but when I saw the rains coming I pushed hard even though it was quite wet but I stayed on the bike and I am really happy, as you can imagine, for this victory.
I want to thank all the team and we are also thinking of Joan Lascorz, because this victory is for him now. As for race two it was amazing to be here inside the top three again. The start of race two was not so wet so I just tried to keep my tyres, and then it started to move back up to Kuba and Sylvain, passed them both and them before falling, I think it was the right decision to take the race results back to lap eight because there was a lot of fuel on the track for two laps, and a lot of water. I am really happy and thanks to all my crew and Kawasaki again.”
Tom Sykes: “The general conditions in race two I was very annoyed about. For sure there was some contamination on the track, it was very greasy and I saw it for two laps and had tried to get the race red flagged. Lots of people crashed and it was red flagged on the lap I crashed. Now, lots of people have been put in the results from previous laps. It could have been worse today but I am disappointed that we did not come away with more points when we could have done. We are still third in the championship so
we will just forget this one and move on.”
Article source: Kawasaki Racing Team
Photo by Graeme Brown