Loris Baz and Toni Elias put on a solid day’s riding for Ducati at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the European duo ending the day second and eighth fastest, respectively.
Baz’s fastest time put him just 0.338 seconds shy of pacesetter Jake Gagne on the Fresh N' Lean Attack Performance Yamaha. The Frenchman completed 32 laps across the day on the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York entry, impressing with his consistency as he outpaced Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen and Yamaha’s Mathew Scholtz.
Elias put in a mammoth 42 laps across the first practice and qualifying sessions on the Panera Bread Ducati, ending the day 1.8 seconds off Gagne after nearly a year off from racing activity as he gets used to the storming Panera Bread Ducati in place of regular rider and team owner, Kyle Wyman.
FP1 Final Standing
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:25.053
P2 – Loris Baz (Ducati) 1:25.303
P3 – Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:25.488
P4 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:25.554
P5 – Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:25.690
P7 – Toni Elias (Ducati) 1:26.216
Qualifying 1 Final Standing
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:24.371
P2 – Loris Baz (Ducati) 1:24.709
P3 – Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:24.831
P4 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:24.833
P5 – Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:25.131
P8 – Toni Elias (Ducati) 1:26.199
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“It’s always nice to be back in Laguna,” Baz said. “This place is always crazy. You always feel like you need to learn the track again, even if you know it. It’s so cool to ride here. I feel ok. We were P2 in both sessions but the grip of the track is not super high so we made some changes, but I think we went in the wrong direction for Q1. I had a small off in the Corkscrew, so a massive thanks to the team because it was lap one and they managed to put the bike back together for me to finish the session. I’m not super happy with the pace but I think there’s some improvement to be had for tomorrow. I’m happy to ride the Ducati here, it’s an amazing place and the weather is much nicer than the last race, so we’ll go for it tomorrow.”
Toni Elias (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #24)
“I’m really happy to have the sensations of riding a racing bike again,” Elias said. “To feel the power, the brakes, the up and downs and roller-coaster of Laguna, it’s been amazing. We worked very hard from first practice to the first qualifying. I felt comfortable with the position of the bike since the beginning, but then I struggled a little bit with the geometry of the bike. In the afternoon, following the changes, I felt much better. My lap time improved all day, but maybe I need a rider in front to help me jump into the 1:25’s. The ’25’s is closer to the P3-P5 group, but we are missing something. To do everything just in one day is impossible, but I think we are taking the right steps and tomorrow we are hoping for another step. We need to make the rear a bit more stable and get a bit more grip and if we can do that, I think we’ll make a big step. We made some progress from the first to the last session in stability on the brakes. We are going in the right direction, we just need a bit more time, and hopefully tomorrow we’ll get the feeling we want and get the lap time we are after.”