Loris Baz has revealed he gambled using the Pirelli X rear tyre in the final race at Laguna Seca feeling he “had nothing to lose” as he capped an impressive start to his and Ten Kate Racing’s World Superbike comeback.

The French rider, who is 13th in the riders’ standings despite missing the opening five rounds, followed up eighth place in the Laguna Seca opener with a pair of seventh places in the Superpole race and Race 2.

Baz opted to risk his strategy in the final race before the summer break by picking the X rear tyre – specifically designed for the 10-lap sprint race – in the 25-lap full-length race and says his call was justified by his pace and improvements.

“I was happy with my pace in Race 2. We took a bit of a gamble going with the X rear tyre because we didn't know what to expect, but we had nothing to lose and here it's really hard to overtake, so I knew that going hard from the start to build a gap could work,” Baz said.

“I had the best feeling with the bike of the whole weekend; here the Yamahas have struggled a little with the rear on corner entry, but it was better.

“It wasn’t easy to pass Jordi Torres, but once I was through, I just tried to be really consistent and not make any mistakes for the rest of the race.

“My pace at the end was a second and a half faster than Race 1, so I was happy to see such a big improvement. Three good races finished here and now we can look forward to testing at Portimao next month.”

Baz has produced an eye-catching return to World Superbike action with Ten Kate Racing’s switch to Yamaha having taken points finishes in 10 out of 12 races highlighted by a pair of fourth places which came at Race 1 at Misano and Race 1 Donington Park (both wet races).

Ten Kate Racing were forced to miss the start of the 2019 World Superbike campaign following its split from Honda late last year that left the team with minimal preparation time after securing a deal with Yamaha and Baz.

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