Just one day after his 23rd birthday, French motorcycle racer Loris Baz crashed at speeds of 180mph during a test run, and somehow walked away with only bruises.
The spectacular crash was caught on camera at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia Tuesday morning, Fox Sports reported.
At the time, Loris Baz was riding in a MotoGP preseason test; it was the second day of testing. Afterwards, Loris said that he’d being using a soft tire to improve lap time, which worked a bit — thanks to the switch, his lap time had improved from the day before.
But then a problem arose with the rear tire. On the racetrack, Baz had no idea what it was, but was hurled from his bike on the Sepang circuit’s main straightaway, Malay Mail Online reported. Loris was driving 180 miles per hour and his Ducati “was destroyed,” he said.
Not only was the dangerous crash captured on camera, but an Agence France-Presse reporter seated nearby happened to notice what caused the accident — the rear tire blew out just before Loris crashed.
Just afterward, Baz’s team, Avintia Racing, confirmed that they were investigating the cause of the “scary crash,” saying on Twitter after Loris was found miraculously unscathed,” Now we have to check what happened.”
The race track was shut down for over an hour while they conducted an investigation into the crash, but found no problems with the Ducati. They also stressed that they’d followed the recommendations for the tires, as set by their Michelin engineer.
In the meantime, Michelin swapped out the soft tires for hard ones and Baz got back on his bike. He proceeded to finish the test and ended up finishing 19th on the day’s timesheets, the Grand Prix Times added.
In an interview after his crash, Loris seemed unfazed and spoke of the return to his bike, shortly after nearly dying on it, in a matter-of-fact manner. It was hard to tell if the motorcycle racer was even shaken up.
“My mechanics made a great job to put the bike back on track for the last two hours,” he said. “It was not bad, but I felt a little bit tired riding the bike and I didn’t want to push and crash again.”
That’s perfectly understandable, after surviving what should’ve killed him. Of course, Baz was counting his lucky stars that the scary accident didn’t even send him to the hospital with serious injuries. He was barely bruised — just tired.
“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.”
Baz also thanked his protective gear for saving his life, Channel News Asia added, and gave its manufacturer — Alpinestars — a shout out on Twitter with what will likely be a great advertisement for the company, “What do you say when you walk away (from) a 290kph crash with a bruised elbow and nothing else? BIG THANKS YOU TO Alpinestars.”
“I suffered a big crash, but I’m doing fine,” Loris said later on his website. “We will say that this is my lucky day. I’m a little wrinkled, it makes sense, with some pains, but overall everything is fine.”
Loris Baz recently started his second season with MotoGP, which is the premier class of Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing (for the uninitiated). Motorcycles in the Grand Prix, like Baz’s Ducati, are built just for racing and aren’t the kind of bikes anyone could buy; they are also illegal on public roads, and perhaps for good reason.
His best finish was fourth at Misano, a race track in Italy, just last year. He also placed 17th in the MotoGP World Championship and 2nd Open.
[Photo By ZRyzner / Shutterstock]