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Nov 15, 2013

Baz Tests Alone At Motorland Aragon, Sykes Rushes Home For Birth Of Daughter

Baz Moves Forward After Motorland Test

Newsflash, 15 November 2013

Loris Baz was the only official KRT rider on track during the latest winter tests at Motorland Aragon in Spain but he made great progress compared to his previous showings at the challenging circuit.

French rider Loris completed more than 100 laps over two days on his Ninja ZX-10R in dry but relatively cool and windy conditions and ended up posting a best lap of 1’57.7 on a regular SC1 race tyre, and then a 1’57.0 on a qualifying rear tyre.

New world champion Tom Sykes was all set to test at Motorland but his wife Amie went into labour before Tom had taken to the track and he rushed back home to the UK to be there for the birth of their baby daughter.

Proven race winner Baz, who is still only 20-years-of-age, was particularly happy to leave the Motorland Aragon circuit having made real progress compared to his previous visits. Working closely with his team Loris found a strong set-up at a circuit he had, by his own admission, found difficult to deal with in the past.

There is now one more test for Loris and new world champion Tom to complete before the mandatory winter break in December. The entire KRT crew will head to Jerez on 25 and 26 November for more evaluations of their 2014 machine and material.

Loris Baz: “Yesterday was really good and it was the first time I had enjoyed this track fully because it felt much easier with the bike than usual for me here. That shows the big steps we have managed to do all through the season. On race tyres even on the first day I improved the best lap I did at Motorland when we last tested here in June. Today we did fewer laps than day one but managed to improve the lap times once more on race tyres, and again with the qualifying rear tyre. There was quite a strong wind through most of the tests but it reduced a bit just after we had finished. I cannot wait to get back to Jerez now for the final track sessions before the test ban, because this test in Motorland made me even more confident and happy about our preparations for next season.”

Pere Riba: Loris Baz’ Crew Chief: “Once again we had a very positive test and we worked with some new parts for 2014. We have already made some successful test sessions at Jerez and we did quite a few laps on the first day here in Motorland. The weather on the second day was supposed to get worse so we did more laps on day one. Physically, Loris was in very good condition and his lap times were strong. The wind was a factor even on the first day but he still improved his best lap time compared to the previous tests here, by six or seven tenths. Much more important than the faster laps times was that fact that he was much more consistent in doing them. He was more confident with the bike, more natural, and because of that the lap times came. On the second day the track was cooler and the wind was still quite strong, but we got to test some final items. The lap times also improved again. Loris went out on a qualifying tyre near the end just to get a feel for the bike with more rear grip available, so we could find out the positive points and negative points. It is sometimes helpful, for some technical points, to make a comparison using a tyre with more grip. We completed our schedule of tasks and we stopped at around 3pm. Overall, we have to be happy with the direction we are going in and we look forward to going to Jerez again for the next test.”

Guim Roda, Team Manager: “First of all, everybody associated with KRT wants to congratulate Tom and Amie on the birth of their daughter. We are sure this will be great experience for both of them. Regarding the test, it has been very positive to see how Loris is still on an upward path as he continues on from last year. I can still remember, eight months ago, how he was in trouble trying to ride in the 1’59 bracket at Motorland. Now is able to get into the 1’59s just two laps after he started. His 1’58 lap time came easily and when he pushed a little he was able to make a 1’57. He set that while riding safely and did not make any mistake or crash. For sure that's the magic way to grow up as a rider and make things appear easy when, in reality, they are difficult. We will continue this way in Jerez at the next test and for sure, starting the first race of 2014 in Australia, both KRT riders will be on a very high level. That's our real target next year; grow up even more than we did this year with both our riders.”