Road America has always been a popular venue with the MotoAmerica regulars. It’s fast, it’s four-miles long, it has good flow… well, it’s a riders’ racetrack and, as is the case with fast racetracks all over the world, it offers up close racing.
One Road America first-timer has ridden at racetracks all over the globe, from Phillip Island to Mugello to Jerez and he now puts Road America on the list of his favorites.
“I love it,” Frenchman Loris Baz said after finishing second in HONOS Superbike race one at Road America on Saturday. “I remember playing that track on the PlayStation when I was five years old. The tracks you play when you see America – it’s Laguna Seca, Road America, Indy and Daytona. It has always been my dream to do all those tracks. I’ve done two so far, so I hope I can make the two others. Those tracks, like Suzuka, are just something different. Seeing so many fans along the track is just something so special. I did a full season last year with no fans on the track (in World Superbike), not allowed to be in the box and seeing your friends and wearing masks everywhere. You have to stay in your truck. So, it’s just so hard. I love to see the fans around the track, so when I came this morning and I saw the cars everywhere it was just super, super cool for us.”
One thing that Baz isn’t so happy about is Jake Gagne and his Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha winning four races in a row (it’s actually five now with Gagne’s win on Sunday). When asked how close he and his Ducati are to being able to compete with Gagne, Baz was honest in his assessment.
“We are far,” he said on Saturday afternoon said. “I don’t want to make him comfortable really for tomorrow, but we are far. But I think we found the base. The thing we tried now we never tried that. I feel much more comfortable on the bike but still, we miss a lot of grip and feeling. We need a bike to turn on the shoulder. The tracks are really narrow here in the U.S. and the bike needs a wider track, at the moment. I’m just struggling to pick up the bike. But I think it’s the right direction. We’ll try a couple more things tomorrow morning. Starting from P2, I can make finally a good start maybe. I try to stay longer with Jake (Gagne) and make his life harder because he had life way too easy since a couple of runs.”
Baz had just moved into second place in Sunday’s race two when his Ducati suffered a mechanical failure that put him out of the race.