Loris Baz’ crash with Pol Espargaro in the opening stages of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone has seen the Frenchman ruled out of this weekends San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, with Xavi Fores stepping in on the Avintia Ducati.
Baz was involved is a scary looking crash at the start of the MotoGP race this past Sunday. As a result of the crash, the race was red flagged as Baz underwent medical assistance trackside.
Whilst lucky to avoid any serious injury, doctors at Silverstone only found a sprained ankle following x-rays, an MRI scan at the Hospital de la Tour in Merin Switzerland, found that the Frenchman had actually a fracture on the lower part of the tibia and another on the astragalus of his right foot, in addition to several bruises and small pieces of bone plus some damaged tendons. The injuries weren’t something that required surgery, but the lower leg has had to be immobilized, therefore meaning Baz cannot ride this weekend.
It is the second time in which Baz has been forced to sit out races, after suffering a foot injury at the start of the race in Mugello earlier in the year. Whilst unrelated, it’s still another blow for the young Frenchman.
“It is a real shame the news I got once I came to visit my Doctors in Switzerland, and I didn’t expected. But after several test, they saw some fractures on my right foot,” explained Baz.
“The main fractures are on my tibia and astragalus. There not possible surgery and now is just time and rest. So I’m forced to miss Misano race.
“Anyway, I still fortunate not having serious injuries following the crash at Silverstone. I feel bad and sorry for my team, because we were coming back and improving in the last few races. It’s a shame, but I’ll try my best to come back as soon as possible and finish the year in the best possible way. This was another hard blow in my season after the one from Mugello, but I have to be positive and look forward.”
With not much time to find a replacement rider, the Avintia team decided to turn to World Superbikes Barni Ducati’s Xavi Fores to stand in this weekend. Despite having no MotoGP experience under his belt, the 30-year-old has plenty of experience and the Spaniard knows the Misano circuit well.
“I wish Xavi to enjoy this weekend. MotoGP bikes are incredible, and I’m sure he’ll enjoy a lot. He’ll also have a great team behind, and I’ll be there in case he needs any advice. Sure he won’t forget the experience,” said Baz.
Whilst sorry for Baz’ injury, Fores was understandably excited about the opportunity which has presented itself this weekend.
“I’m really happy for this opportunity with the Avintia Racing team. I’m sure this will be a positive experience for me,” said Fores.
“My aim is to enjoy the maximum and leave the pressure at home. I have nothing to demonstrate, the bike is completely different to anything I’ve ridden before. I have to be clever because everything will be new for me, so I only want to enjoy.
“Riding a MotoGP bike is a dream for every rider, and I’m looking forward to start the weekend to enjoy and live the experience. It will be crucial not to make any mistake and don’t get hurt, because I have to race in Germany next week with my WSBK team,” said the Valencian rider.
“I’ll use this weekend like a training session before my next race, and I’ll try to enjoy as much as possible riding the MotoGP bike. Misano is one of my favourite circuits and there I got my best results so far this season in WSBK. So it is the best possible scenario to start to work with an unknown bike.
“I what to say big thanks to Avintia Racing, Ducati and specially my team, Barni Racing for letting me race. And I also want to wish Loris a fast recovery. Keep calm, I’ll take care of your BabyDesmo.”
Photos via Avintia Racing