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Under scorching temperatures at Ridge Motorsports Park in Sheldon, Wash., the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Team and rider Loris Baz arrived claimed 4-3 finishes at round four of the 2021 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Championship.
Following some mixed fortunes two weeks ago at Road America, Wisc., Baz wasted no time getting up to speed during practice aboard his Ducati Panigale V4 R.
The 28-year-old Frenchman—fresh from a successful test last week at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota—led three of four practices and claimed the provisional pole during Friday qualifying. Not able to take full advantage of the qualifying tire on the hot and slick track, Baz went marginally faster Saturday, qualifying second for the Ridge doubleheader.
During Saturday’s race one, Baz started strongly but had an issue with his rear tire. This prevented him from running at a comfortable pace, and he finished fourth. During Sunday’s race two, Baz had a decent start but again struggled with grip on the hot track. He would end his day in third, grabbing a 4-3 finish in Washington.
“It’s been a great weekend, honestly,” Baz said. “I’ve never felt so good on the bike, even after the big changes we made between sessions. It was a little rough in the race with the rear tire on the left side which made it difficult to push in race one so I just decided to bring it home in P4. But as soon as the track temperature raised, I was confident but I didn’t feel a lot of rear grip which made it difficult to push like I wanted. We just have to keep learning, especially in hot weather. The competition has been in this heat before but we haven’t so we are still learning. We’ve got a little break so I will head to LA for a couple of days and then go to Laguna Seca, which is a track I love. Plus, it’s a track I know, so that is a bonus!”
After four of nine rounds, Baz is sixth in the Superbike Championship with 82 points, up a position. The team will now prep for the fifth round July 9-11 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California, a track Baz is familiar with.
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