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Following 4-3 finishes at round four of the 2021 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Championship in Ridge Motorsports Park, Sheldon, Wash., the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Team and rider Loris Baz arrived at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California confident for additional podium finishes.
The reason was simple; the team already had data from the Ducati Panigale V4 R, and Baz had raced at Laguna Seca before— although never on a Ducati with Dunlop tires. The confidence paid off, and the 28-year-old Frenchman rode consistently to take second in both races at round five—the best performance so far this season.
The team wasted no time getting up to speed during Friday’s practice and qualifying, and secured second place to start Saturday’s race one. During race one, Baz got off to a quick start ahead of a red flag. Although Baz was the only rider on the front two rows using an extra soft front tire and didn’t have as good of a launch during the restart, he moved his way to the front and kept the pressure on Yamaha’s Jacke Gagne to the checkered flag. Baz would end Saturday in second.
The team made some minor modifications to the VR 4 ahead of Sunday’s race. Baz was quick off the line and once again kept the pressure on Gagne throughout race two, even taking the lead after a mistake by Gagne. When Sunday’s race ended, Baz crossed the line second for a 2-2 finish at round five of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in California.
“It’s been a great weekend; the best we’ve had so far,” Baz said. “We’ve had no real issues all weekend, besides the small fumble on Friday, we’ve been strong all weekend. I think since Road America, race one, we finally found a bass setup that I like on the bike, so I’m riding better and better. I’ve really enjoyed riding the V4 R at Laguna Seca. I was able to put pressure on Jake during race one and race two. We put on a great show in front of the many fans around the track. Considering how new this project is, we are getting better and better, so I look forward to the future.”
After five of nine rounds, Baz is fifth in the Superbike Championship with 122 points, up another position. The team will now prep for the sixth round July 30 - August 1 at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota, a track Baz is familiar with due to testing.
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.