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WSBK: Factory Inspection: Althea BMW

The Gulf Althea BMW team drop one bike in 2018 and field just one, with ex-World Superbike race winner, Loris Baz, returning from MotoGP after being left without a ride at Avintia Ducati. The Frenchman comes back to a series that has really changed from when he was last racing in it and may find it hard to reach the heights he was previously at.

Baz is no stranger to WSBK, this is the stage of which Forward Racing plucked him from back in 2015, so you’d think that he can make hay now he is back. With two wins and twelve other podiums, Baz is back in a championship that, on the right bike, he may be able to win on. Unfortunately, he is not on the most competitive motorcycle out there. The BMW has been notoriously poor-performing in wet conditions and the front-end feel of the bike is an area of which Jordi Torres and now Loris Baz have had problems with. The 25-year-old will be looking for top six finishes straight away, although it may take some time before we see them occur.

The BMW, as we say, has been poor, however it always seems to go well in Thailand, for whatever reason. A fifth in at least one race has happened, firstly with Marcus Reiterberger but also with Jordi Torres. Torres led for some considerable time at Misano last year, the same circuit where Baz achieved his best GP finish – which was fourth. Like I say, any wet races in 2018 and the BMW will more-than-likely not feature near the front, so for Baz’s sake, lets hope it remains dry.

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