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The Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Team and rider Loris Baz arrived at round three of the 2021 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Championship at Road America with high ambitions for conquering one of the USA’s quickest road race tracks.
The team went straight to work during Friday practice and qualifying before loads of fans, the track the busiest it’s been in a decade. The 28-year-old Frenchman Baz qualified fifth on the Ducati Panigale V4 R, putting him on the second row for Saturday’s race one. During race one, by the final lap, Baz worked his way to third. He then took second after winning a drag race to the finish line thanks to the power of the V4 R.
Ahead of Sunday’s race two, the team made some slight modifications to make the Ducati turn quicker as they hoped to capitalize on the front-row start. As Baz was passing for the lead on lap three, he was forced to retire due to a technical problem.
“It’s been a tough weekend,” Baz said. “I have a bittersweet taste because we struggled a lot in qualifying, but after qualifying, we made some big changes on the bike, so thank you to the crew for that. We found the way and we started race one with a totally different bike—I needed a couple of laps to learn the settings—then I managed to improve my pace to get in front of Bobby (Fong) and Cameron (Petersen) at the end.
“We made another big change this morning and I felt so good for race two. We closed the gap to Jake and I was really starting to think we could fight for the win. In such a small time the team did an amazing job with changing the bike, but straight away in lap one I felt something in the engine, and then in lap three it expired. We’ll put our heads down and come back better for the next round.”
After three of nine rounds, Baz is seventh in the Superbike Championship with 53 points. The team will complete a track day at Brainard Raceway in Minnesota this week as it gets sorted for round four Jul 9-11 at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash.
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., Spider, RaceSeats, Samco Sport, Spiegler Performance, Race Technologies, and TechSpec.