Loris Baz feels he can approach the 2013 World Superbike Championship season without any pressure on his young shoulders as he prepares for his first full year with Kawasaki.
Joining the team five rounds into the 2012 season as the replacement for the injured Joan Lascorz, Baz earned an extended stay with the Japanese manufacturer after an impressive turn during the second-half of the year included a surprise first win at Silverstone.
That win, plus two further podiums, has elevated Baz's status as a 'rider to watch' for the future, though the 19-year-old himself maintains he is relaxed about the upcoming year.
“I don't have any pressure,” he said. “I just want to try my best and I think if we try our best we will have a good season. I want to start the season with the same target as I finished this one, taking it race-by-race and trying to score my first dry top five finish as soon possible. Then I will try to stay at that level, and improve even further.
Having joined Kawasaki at Superstock 1000 level at the start of the 2012 season, Baz feels the welcoming atmosphere within the manufacturer has been key to his recent success.
“I feel really good and so I am looking forward to next season. As I always said, I need to feel like family with the people I work with, and I felt it straight away in Kawasaki; first in Superstock, and then later with the Superbike. It wasn't easy to join in the middle of the season but I took it like it was the opportunity of my life and I couldn't ask for a better result when I look forward now.”
Baz finished 13th in the overall WSBK standings, just 21 points shy of the top ten despite missing the opening eight races.