News 3 Feb 2016

Baz speaks out about 290km/h Sepang shunt

Soft tyre failure the suggested cause of incident.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Avintia Racing Ducati rider Loris Baz escaped a violent 290km/h crash down the Sepang front straight on Tuesday, unhurt after an issue with his rear tyre saw testing stopped for over an hour.

With Avintia finding no mechanical fault as the cause of the crash, Michelin began to analyse the rear tyre from Baz’s bike. The team stressed that they followed the recommendations of the Michelin engineers at all times.

“The start of the day was good. We used the soft tyre to try to improve the lap times and, although the lap was not incredible, we were able to improve the lap time from yesterday,” Baz explained. “But then we had a problem with the rear tyre and I crashed out at 290km/h and my bike was destroyed.

“Fortunately I was unhurt, but you always loose energy after this kind of accident, because even I you don’t have anything serious, you feel all your muscles like if you have been training during 20 hours.

“My mechanics made a great job to put the bike back on track for the last two hours. It was not bad, but I felt a little bit tired riding the bike and I didn’t want to push and crash again. But I matched the same lap time from yesterday testing some suspension parts that I didn’t like too much.”

Without enough time to run full tests, Michelin removed the soft compound rear that Baz was running as a precaution. This left the rest of the MotoGP grid with only the hard option available. Despite the fall Baz was able to get back out on track in the afternoon, but didn’t not improve his time and ended Tuesday in 19th.