Gerloff Fourth-Quickest, Baz Fifth At Final WorldSBK Preseason Test
With preseason testing now done, Gerloff and the rest of the WorldSBK riders are ready for the season to start this weekend at Aragòn. Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.
The final preseason MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship test concluded on Tuesday at MotorLand Aragòn with six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) topping the timesheets as the only rider to lap in the 1:48 range. On a day of competitive pace, four manufacturers were represented in the top five, and all five were inside the top ten.
Rea’s best time from Tuesday’s second session looked like it was going to be enough to top the day, but he was able to improve again to a 1:48.714 to secure top spot on the second and final day of testing. He was three-tenths of a second clear of reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in second place, whose late lap time of 1:49.068 moved him into second place.
Razgatlioglu overhauled Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) to demote the Spanish rider to third place as Bautista looked to work on his Panigale V4 R with the upcoming Aragòn Round in mind. Bautista’s best time was a 1:49.094, and he finished two-tenths of a second clear of former MotoAmerica Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as Gerloff’s fastest lap of 1:49.235 completed the top four. He tried out some new components previously tested by the Pata Yamaha squad and used the full 2022 Yamaha YZF-R1 for the first time. Fellow former MotoAmerica Superbike rider Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was the highest-placed BMW rider in fifth place, with four of 2022’s five manufacturers in the top five, as he posted a fastest lap of 1:49.383 in Tuesday’s penultimate practice session.
About the two-day test, Gerloff said, “Overall it wasn’t too bad. On Day 2, we fixed some things that I was complaining about on the first day, and the temperature went higher. That’s important as, for the (upcoming race) weekend, weather conditions should be warmer. We did use the SCQ tire, as well. It felt good. Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to make a one-shot lap, so I need to work on this area. Anyway, finally, the preseason is over, and it’s time to focus on the first round of the year. I’ll enjoy two days of rest before being fully focused on the race weekend, but I cannot wait to bounce back on track for the first free practice of the season.”
With preseason testing now officially over, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will begin with round one this weekend at MotorLand Aragòn.
WorldSBK Combined Lap Times
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 1:48.714
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1:49.068
3. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 1:49.094
4. Garrett Gerloff (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1:49.235
5. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) 1:49.383
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