Loris Baz has been in a factory WorldSBK team before and says his current Ten Kate outfit, although actually private, feels like a works squad.
The likeable Frenchman came back into the production-based series in the middle of last season with the blessing of Yamaha Europe honcho Eric de Seynes and immediately gelled with crew chief Mick Shanley and the rest of the team before they set about giving the works boys a thin time.
“We are not the same team, we are doing our own job, our own development. Some parts of the bike are different. We are part of the Yamaha project a lot but also Ten Kate can develop a lot of things because they have a lot of knowledge,” said Baz.
“It’s kind of being in a factory private team. I want to continue for a long time because my passion for racing is growing every year. I have never enjoyed riding and racing bikes as much as I do now.”
Having joined Ten Kate Racing halfway during 2019, Baz explained how this was one of three main challenging years he has had in his career.
I think there have been three challenging years. 2012, coming into World Superbike halfway through the season, with no testing and a lot of pressure with the best team. Then moving to MotoGP was really, really challenging also.
It was my dream since I was eight, I just wanted to race in MotoGP but a lot of people told me I was crazy to go away from Kawasaki and I was too tall for success in MotoGP™, I was too heavy and didn’t have the right bike.
“It was really challenging. I think I did a really good job, somethings I could’ve done better, and I was unlucky in the first year. The last year with Ducati I enjoyed. A lot of Q2s, top 10s with the Ducati, a two-year-old bike.
The last challenging year was last year. Again, it was coming in halfway through the season. I had to show everyone I was still able to ride a bike after 2018, which was so tough.
“The team wanted to show everyone they were still a good team after a few complicated years. We didn’t know what setup to use at every track. We didn’t know the bike. Every lap we were learning something, and, in the end, we had a strong season.”