Loris Baz is one lucky man. Blasting down the Sepang straight at 180 mph during MotoGP testing, the rear tire on his Avintia Racing Ducati blew up, sending the rider sliding and motorcycle tumbling down the tarmac. Fortunately, Baz walked away from the crash with a bruised elbow and bumps and bruises but was relatively unscathed.
“What do you say when you walk away of a “290kmh crash” with a bruised elbow and nothing else? BIG THANKS YOU TO Alpinestars,” Baz tweeted afterwards. He also gave a shout-out to his LS2 Helmet for helping him walk away from the nasty spill.
GPOne YouTube video
The incident caused the test session to be delayed for an hour and a half to clear debris from the track and assess possible causes of the crash. While speculation included the engine, gearbox, or back tire, the likely culprit has been narrowed down to the soft compound Michelin tire he was running. Remnants of the shredded carcass are being analyzed. As a precautionary measure, the soft spec tire was pulled from the remainder of the test.
“This morning in early trading, we started with the tire from yesterday,” stated Baz on his webpage. “We had a problem with, so I am back. We had a new tire for a while, I gradually took the rhythm, I improved lap after lap. The tire exploded in the straight when I had just done my fastest lap. Initially I thought an engine problem because there were signs that let me think that such a strange noise. But we have well analyzed the bike and everything was in place. Personally, I think more of a problem on the tire. I suffered a big crash, but I’m doing fine. We will say that this is my lucky day.”
Baz wasn’t the only rider to crash on the second day of the Sepang MotoGP test, with Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaro all crashing in Turn 5. Tito Rabat also went down during the first half of the session.