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World Superbike Barcelona March testing

Barcelona test showing leaves Gerloff with "smile on my face"

American rider Garrett Gerloff says he had “a smile on his pace” after an encouraging showing aboard the GRT Yamaha in the World Superbike pre-season test at Barcelona.

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Racing Team

Gerloff set the fifth-quickest time in the two-day test at the Spanish circuit, trailing only reigning champion Toprak Razgatlioglu among the Yamaha contingent as the Japanese manufacturer trialed an upgraded version of the title-winning R1.

The 26-year-old racked up nearly 150 laps across the two days of testing, even completing some crucial wet running ahead of his third season in the production-based category.

Gerloff was buoyed by his performance in Barcelona, applauding Yamaha for fine-tuning a bike that was already working to his liking at a previous private test in Misano. 

“It was really good,” said Gerloff after the opening day of testing. “I was really 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! 

“When we first started, I was actually shocked with how little grip the track had but it seemed it was coming better all day but the Yamaha R1 was working the whole time, so I’ve got a smile on my face.”

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Racing Team

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Racing Team

Photo by: GRT Racing Team

Yamaha debuted a new electronic package in Barcelona, with the independent GRT team further tasked with testing a new subframe and fuel tank on its pair of R1s piloted by Gerloff and Japanese rider Kohta Nozane.

Gerloff approved of the changes Yamaha made to the bike in Barcelona and feels the track is a better indicator of the pecking order than Misano, where he ended up second-quickest against a smaller field.

“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,” explained Gerloff.

“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 the race pace was good.

“We got around 10 laps and I felt good the whole time, I felt consistent. The tyres dropped off a little bit but that’s when I like it, when everything starts working for me.”

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