Despite rain and crashes, Loris Baz pilots Ducati V4 R to three podiums at Barber Motorsports Park finale
The Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Team wrapped up the 2021 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., with three podium finishes.
Despite the rain and racing with a sore wrist, Ducati V4 R pilot Loris Baz finished race one in third, race two in second, and race three in third.
During a dry free practice session on Friday, Baz, who had never ridden at Barber before, lost the rear of his superbike on the fourth lap. While attempting to save the bike, Baz crashed hard, going over the handlebars.
Due to pain in his wrist, Baz didn’t participate in qualifying 1 and visited the on-track medical specialist. Nothing was broken, and Baz was told to rest. The team didn’t participate in any further practices of qualifying.
The rain rolled in Saturday morning, and this prompted Baz to compete because the wet conditions would be easier on his sore wrist. Unfortunately, because the team didn’t participate in qualifying, Baz had to start from dead last on the grid for Saturday’s race.
Baz worked his way from 26th to fourth on the second lap. Although he suffered a crash, as did the winner and second-place finisher, Baz would finish third.
Rain also plagued Sunday’s races. In race two, Baz quickly moved into the second position, where he finished. During race three, he had a small tip-off but managed another third place.
“It’s been a crazy weekend after a massive crash on Friday,” Baz said following Barber’s Superbike race. “I was 90 percent sure on Friday I was not going to be racing this weekend and I started last because I missed Q1 and was in third, crashed again and started ninth with a completely broke bike—broke handlebars, everything—and got a podium in P3.
“This morning was a bit easier. The pain was less and I went P2, but it’s not a condition I like, when it’s drying. I had better hopes for this weekend and this afternoon but Jake (Gagne) pulled a gap straight away on lap one and I couldn’t, crashed again and finished third. But three podiums to finish the season with two crashes in the races and three over the three days. I want to thank the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York team, all my mechanics, all the guys on the team who got me out on the track. Also, team managers Bobby and Lewis because they wanted me to go home and rest and I was the one who told them I wanted to race. They didn’t need to do that. I am really proud to race for this team, and we ended the season with three podiums. Thanks to all the Ducati fans and we’ll see what the future brings.”
As for a season wrap, Baz learned a new track for each round as the team focused on figuring out the gearing and setup that worked with the Dunlop-spec tires.
Team Principal Bobby Shek said “We came in as a brand new team and with support from Ducati and a taken rider like Loris Baz we battled at the sharp end immediately. We had hoped to score a win this year but never the less I am happy we have the groundwork to hit the ground running next year.”
Following the rain-soaked 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike season finale, Baz finished fourth in points with 238. Stay tuned for a press release about Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Team’s 2022 MotoAmerica plans.
The team is made possible through key partners: North American Warhorse, Parts Unlimited, Ducati New York, Horsepower HD, Competition Werkes, Mount Airy Casino & Resort, New York Safety Track, and Fast by Ferraci.
In addition to the support of their technical sponsors: Akrapovic, Bickle Racing, DID Chain, DNA Air Filters, Drippen Wet, Drive Systems USA, EVOL Technologies, FullSix Carbon, Full Spectrum, Hard Knocks Moto Coffee, Melotti Racing, OGNIBENE S.p.A., RaceSeats, Spider Racing , Samco Sport, Spiegler Performance, Race Technologies, and TechSpec.
For ongoing race season updates, follow HSBK Racing on:
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