Press Release: Loris Baz Joins Althea BMW For 2018 WorldSBK Season

Loris Baz has signed to race for the Althea Ducati team in WorldSBK in 2018. The team issued the following press release announcing the deal:


Althea BMW Racing announces its plans for the 2018 season

Rome, Italy, Thursday 16 November 2017

The Althea BMW Racing Team prepares for the 2018 Superbike World championship and announces its hiring of former MotoGP rider, Frenchman Loris Baz.

A few days after the conclusion of the 2017 Superbike world championship, the Althea BMW Racing Team confirms its plans for 2018, a year in which the Italian team, former world champions with Carlos Checa in 2011, will be aiming high.

Having renewed its technical collaboration with BMW, Althea Racing will continue along the path of technical development and growth that it embarked upon with the German manufacturer in 2016.

Loris Baz, born in 1993 in Sallanches, France, has competed in the MotoGP championship for the last three years, gaining significant experience while battling it out on track against the world’s best riders.

>From 2012 to 2014, the Frenchman raced in the Superbike world championship, riding for Kawasaki alongside Englishman Tom Sykes and achieving a total of 9 podiums and 2 fantastic race wins in the process.

The return of the talented French rider to this category will undoubtedly add a certain competitive weight to the championship and provide both team and rider with significant motivation.

Steering the Althea BMW Racing Team, in addition to team owner Genesio Bevilacqua, are technical director Moreno Coppola, responsible for technical relations with the mother company, and race engineer Adriano Coppola, who will work alongside the French rider.

BMW technicians will also be on hand, as in previous years, bringing together the team’s extensive experience, which spans several decades, and the cutting-edge technology of BMW Motorrad.

Also reconfirmed are those key partners that will join Althea BMW Racing as it renews its efforts in World Superbike. Namely, Gulf Oil (www.gulfoil.com), one of the world’s leading oil and lubricant manufacturers, and BMP Tappi (www.bmp-tappi.it), a leader in the production of plastic caps and plugs, owned by the Bustreo family who renews the historic relationship of which both companies, BMP and Althea, are so very proud.

The Althea BMW Racing Team will be back on track at Jerez for the first winter test session on 20-21 November.

Genesio Bevilacqua

“It’s a time of great change in Superbike and the arrival of the new regulation, as well as an “explosive” rider as courageous and determined as Loris Baz, does not just reignite my personal enthusiasm and that of the team, but also that of the championship itself. We are aware of the challenge that we face, as we will once again be battling factory teams that have some very fierce riders, but I think that we have everything we need to be able to fight on a level playing field in 2018, targeting results that are more in line with the level and prestige of Althea and the BMW factory.

I therefore welcome Loris, on behalf of the entire team. We are looking forward to working with him.”

Loris Baz

“I wanted to find the best solution for my future and I think I have found this in team Althea. I have known Genesio for a long time, so we talked and, to be honest, it was very easy to come to an agreement. I know the team is strong – they won the title with Carlos Checa after all – and I consider the project a very interesting one, also in light of the changes to the regulation. I’m very happy with my decision. I want to thank Genesio Bevilacqua and BMW of course, and am looking forward to getting out on track with the S1000RR for the first time during the upcoming Jerez tests.”

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Comments

As I watch most of my racing recorded off my DVR, I fast forwarded my way though many WSBK races this season as it was feeling eerily similar to late 90's Doohan GP races. And while I like J.Rea just fine and respect him greatly, he's just not one of my favorite racers. But alas, now that one of them will be back on the grid I will have a fully vested interest again for 2018. I'm anxious to see what his remarks (and times of course) are after the test next week.

Bon chance Loris!

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