Loris Baz will return the World Superbike Championship in 2018 after signing for Althea BMW. The Frenchman has spent the last three years in MotoGP after departing Kawasaki in acrimonious circumstances at the end of 2014 but the 24-year-old will be Althea’s sole representative next year, replacing the MV Agusta-bound Jordi Torres.
Baz has two WorldSBK victories to his name and hopes to add to that tally next season with a team which has proven championship pedigree.
“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.”
Team Manager Genesio Bevilacqua is delighted to have signed a rider of Baz’s calibre and hopes to move up the grid in 2018.
“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.”