Loris Baz has heaped praise on Ten Kate Racing for going from building its Yamaha YZF-R1 to finishing five seconds off the podium in just its fourth race of the season.

In a rollercoaster eight months for the 10-time world champions, Ten Kate Racing has gone from declaring bankruptcy after splitting with Honda to taking fourth place in just its second round since returning to World Superbikes with a new partnership with Yamaha earlier this month.

Baz, who had also not raced since last year before the Jerez round, made the most of the wet conditions to charge up the order with a fairy tale podium within reach as Alvaro Bautista struggled in the rain in third place.

But rain relenting over the final third of the race, Baz had to settle for an impressive fourth place but still finished as top Yamaha rider on a historic day for the Dutch squad.

“Four weeks ago, the team were still building the bike and everyone else had done 14 races, while we had completed not even one lap, so it feels good to finish fourth here today,” Baz said. “I’m really happy with the result but also with the progress we’ve made with understanding the bike in the dry.

“I was angry with myself for crashing in Superpole this morning, but the race was cool. When Haslam crashed I pushed really hard to catch Bautista for the final podium place but, as the track started to dry, he was able to increase his pace and it wasn’t possible to close him down.

“I’m really happy with the result and big thanks to all the guys in the team for their hard work.”

It also marks Baz’s best result since finishing in fourth place in the 2016 Czech Republic MotoGP race.

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