After a drought of news, hectic press releases and race reviews, and weekends spent wandering woefully though the city, the sun shines bright. My inbox slowly fills with updates, pictures of 2013 bikes and rider line-ups and press releases, which contain that wonderful world: ‘testing’.
This week, it is Kawasaki’s turn. Tom Sykes, Loris Baz and their team have made their way to Almeria, Spain where they are working their 2013 machines, going through their paces, and stretching their legs, before they head to Jerez towards the end of January. It seems fit then, to post this interview courtesy the Kawasaki Racing Team, as part of their press release, which was sent on December 31, 2012.
Loris Baz burst on to the SBK paddock towards the middle of the season. It was a time when Team Green was reeling from news that their rider Joan Lascorz would, in all probability, never race again. It was a tough time for the team. Baz, at that time, was racing as part of the MRS Kawasaki Superstock 1000 FIM Cup team. He joined KRT in the Superbike class from the Donington round.
It was obvious that the 19-year-old was under a lot of pressure. But he stunned everyone with a brilliant 3rd place at Brno and then, a 2nd place at Silverstone. He continues to race for KRT this year. Here’s the interview as issued by the Kawasaki Racing Team:
Kawasaki Racing Team: How do you feel after such a year as you experienced in 2012? You did very well once you got the chance on a factory Superbike, yes?
Loris Baz: Honestly, I feel really good and so I am looking forward to next season. As I always said, I need to feel like family with the people I work with, and I felt it straight away in Kawasaki; first in Superstock, and then later with the Superbike. It wasn’t easy to join in the middle of the season, but I took it like it was the opportunity of my life and I couldn’t ask for a better result when I look forward now.
KRT: Despite your age you are quite an experienced rider and have ridden in many categories. How much has this experience helped to bring you on faster than other riders of your age?
LB: I think that this is the key. Adrien Morillas, my coach and ex-team manager, always said that I had to go on a 600cc bike as soon as possible. That’s why I was on it at 14 years old, and then as soon as possible on a 1000cc bike. So, I joined World Superbike at 19 years old, but I already had six years on a four-stroke bike, four years on a 1000 and already some experience of an SBK machine in BSB last year. This helped me a lot to understand the KRT bike, even if it’s again totally different to ride from anything before!
KRT: It has not been all smooth progress in your short career, but do you think that both problems and positives can combine to make you stronger overall?
LB: Of course. I think if everything comes easy to you and you don’t have to fight for it, then you don’t appreciate the opportunity as much. I know where I am and I know where I want to go, I just have to do the right things to get it.
KRT: How would you describe your personality to someone you had never met before?
LB: Ha-ha! COOL? Ha-ha! I don’t know… it’s never easy to speak about myself. But… if I have to answer, I think I am easy-going, somebody who is honest and I always say what I think. But maybe other people should answer this question!?
KRT: What about 2013, what are your targets?
LB: I don’t have any pressure. Ijust want to try my best and I think if we try our best we will have a good season. I want to start the season with the same target as I finished this one, taking it race-by-race, and trying to score my first dry top-5 finish as soon as possible. Then, I will try to stay at that level, and improve even further.
Interview courtesy Kawasaki Racing Team [Press Release]