Reale Avintia Racing rider Loris Baz finished the Dutch TT in a fantastic eight place following a tricky race at the legendary Assen track today. The 24 year-old French rider started the race from the 14th place on the grid and he was able to gain some positions when the rain came with six laps to go. He started a thrilling last lap battle for seventh place with Suzuki factory rider Andrea Iannone. He beat the Italian but didn’t expect a final attack from fellow Ducati rider Karel Abraham, how passed both Iannone and Baz on the lasz lap. Nevertheless, eighth position is a great result in a difficult weekend for the Reale Avintia Racing rider.
His teammate Hector Barbera fought his way through from 20th place on the grid and he was catching the group of Baz in the final part of the race. But when the rain started, he took the decision to swap bikes and he did the last six laps on rain tyres. This was not a winning bet and he struggled with rain tyres to finish the race 16th.
The MotoGP World Championship heads now to Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix, which will take place next week. It will be the last race before the summer break.
“We were lucky with the rain, because in dry conditions I had no confidence and also I started to feel pain in my right arm after just two laps. I had no feeling with the front and I decided to keep my pace, because a big group was right behind me. When I saw the first drops on my visor, I pushed harder to keep the tyres in the right temperature range and to avoid changing bikes. The strategy was right and I finished eighth. On the last lap, Iannone overtook me and I passed him back in the fast lefthand corner, but I didn’t realise Abraham was so close and he caught me. But there is not a big difference between seventh or eight place, the important thing is that we finished inside the top ten, which is a boost to my motivation ahead of Germany where I hope to finish the first half of the season with another strong result.”
“Today I lost the bet. The rain started towards the end of the race and when it rains at Assen it usually rains hard, so I thought that if I swap the bike and go out again with rain tyres, maybe I would have an advantage. When I saw Zarco going into the pits I took the risk to change the bike as well. With these decisions you sometimes win and sometimes you don’t, and today it was not the best decision. In this kind of races I’ve always been quite conservative and I stayed out until the final moment with bad results. Today I did the opposite and took a big risk, but is turned out disastrously. We had the worst possible conditions in the race, but at least we learned a new lesson for the next time we’ll have a flag to flag race.”