Baz: Sykes accident “was so scary, consequence could have been much worse”

Loris Baz says Tom Sykes’ massive highside at the British WorldSBK round was “so scary” after it forced him and Michael Ruben Rinaldi to be involved in the accident.
Loris Baz, BMW WorldSBK Donington Park 2023
Loris Baz, BMW WorldSBK Donington Park 2023

An innocent bystander during the first lap crash, Baz hit Michael Ruben Rinaldi after both riders had to take avoiding action of Sykes in front.

Sykes lost control on the exit of turn eight which resulted in him going airborne as Baz and Rinaldi both applied the brakes in order to try and avoid the BMW rider.

However, Baz hit Rinaldi as a result which led to both Sykes and Rinaldi needing extensive medical assistance. 

The Bonovo Action BMW rider endured another nightmare weekend prior to Race 2, and remains on 13 points for the entire season. 

Technical issues were one of the reasons for Baz’ struggles, while Race 2 was simply unlucky for the French rider who, not for the first time this season, was unfortunate to see his race end because of mistakes from others. 

Speaking about his weekend and the incident involving Sykes, Baz said: "Unfortunately, there is not so much to say about it. It was so scary! I’m just glad that I didn’t hit Tom. 

"There was just nothing I could have done. The consequence could have been much worse. We’ve just been lacking luck all weekend with some technical issues, rain and all the problems. 

"I couldn’t do more than six, seven laps in a row, so it was hard for me to keep the pace and I felt I was running behind. I tried to catch back the speed during the whole weekend. 

"I’m just disappointed, as Donington is a track that I really like and I felt the BMW could do well. Garrett and Scott have shown that in race two. 

"Now, I’m just trying to get some sleep, because I have a big headache from the crash. Now we’ll regroup and start again from Imola. 

"Thanks to all the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team guys for the hard work again. We try harder than anyone and we will try harder next time. We’ll stay strong."

Baz’ teammate Garrett Gerloff enjoyed a much better weekend after showing strong pace, particularly in Race 2.

Garrett Gerloff, Race 2, British WorldSBK 02 July
Garrett Gerloff, Race 2, British WorldSBK 02 July

In the battle for the top five early on, Gerloff eventually claimed P9 but signs were there that he and the BMW could be strong going forward.

"I was really, really happy in the Superpole race," added the Texan. "The bike felt so good for the first time this weekend. We’ve been playing with some different settings and finally on Sunday in the Superpole race everything felt super good. 

"So, I was able to finish in the top nine places in seventh position. That was really positive for myself and the whole team. 

"In race two, I got a great start after the red flag and was in fifth place. I felt so good, then I just struggled to maintain the pace. I was fighting with some arm fatigue. 

"It wasn’t arm pump, I was just losing strength in my arm and that made it difficult to be consistent. I made a couple of stupid mistakes and people passed me, but in the end I was still with the group with Scott and the other guys. 

"That was super positive and I’m very happy about that. We’re getting closer and closer and I know we’re going in a good direction. This is what makes me happy and I’m really excited for the next round at Imola."

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