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Gerloff Third-Quickest After First Day Of WorldSBK Test In Catalunya

Gerloff aboard his 2022 Yamaha YZF-R1 in brand-new GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team livery. Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.

After topping the morning timesheets on the first day of the MOTUL FIM WorldSBK test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team rider Garrett Gerloff’s day ended with the former MotoAmerica Superbike rider in third place, just four-tenths of a second back from Racing – Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista, who was fastest on the day.

Despite a crash at Turn 10 in the afternoon. Gerloff and his team worked on refining the setup of his Yamaha YZF-R1 with a long run of 78 laps. The Texan led at various points throughout the day but found himself pipped for the top spot by Bautista and then Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at the end of the day. Gerloff dropped two positions on the timesheets, but he still finished as the top Yamaha rider, besting reigning champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK). Gerloff’s best lap time on the day was a 1:41.229.

“It was really good. I was happy with all the changes made at Misano, and I can’t believe it, but they actually worked here, too, so that’s super positive!” commented Gerloff. “When we first started, I was actually shocked with how little grip the track had. but it seemed it was coming better all day. The Yamaha R1 was working the whole time, so I’ve got a smile on my face.”

Throughout testing, Yamaha has been bringing electronic updates to improve their package as they look to defend all three titles that they won in 2021. As well as electronic updates, the GRT Yamaha team have been able to test a new subframe and fuel tank.

Explaining the changes to his bike at the test, Gerloff said: “Every track we go to now is a big electronics test just because it’ll be the first time we’ve ever done laps with it. We’ve made a lot of big steps with that, but the biggest thing we were doing is confirming the stuff that we liked at Misano on a track with less grip. Probably it’ll be similar to this at all the other tracks in the summer when it gets hotter. That was positive. I was pretty consistent, and race pace was good. Tires dropped off a little bit, but that’s when I like it, when everything starts working for me.”

Gerloff and the rest of the riders will be back on track at Catalunya tomorrow for day two of the test where they will try to better their lap times from today.

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