An AlpineStars race suit and a bit of good fortune may have just saved MotoGP racer Loris Baz of Avintia Racing from a terrifying high-speed crash the other day. During testing at Sepang International Circuit his rear tire exploded at just over 180 mph.
After a thorough inspection, nothing was deemed problematic or anomalous with the motorcycle itself and the race engineers are leaning toward a failure of the soft Michelin tire.
Baz received only scratches and was protected from the spill due to his safety gear. Relatively unscathed, Baz returned to the track with hard tires to finish up the practice session.
“The start of the day was good,” said Baz. “We used the soft tire to try to improve the lap times and, although the lap was not incredible, we were able to improve the lap time from yesterday. But then we had a problem with the rear tire and I crashed out at 290 km/h (180 mph) and my bike was destroyed. Fortunately I was unhurt, but you always loose energy after this kind of accident, because even I you don’t have anything serious, you feel all your muscles like if you have been training during 20 hours. My mechanics made a great job to put the bike back on track for the last two hours. It was not bad, but I felt a little bit tired riding the bike and I didn’t want to push and crash again. But I matched the same lap time from yesterday testing some suspension parts that I didn’t like too much.”
Loris Baz is a 23-year-old French rider competing in his second season of MotoGP.