From Saturday disaster to a solid Sunday: Gerloff reflects on rollercoaster weekend

Monday, 20 September 2021 08:37 GMT

The American crashed before Race 1 started but bounced back on Sunday with top-ten finishes

The Hyundai N Catalunya Round for Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) could be described as a rollercoaster, from a pre-race crash ahead of Saturday’s Race 1 but responded with a solid Sunday as he took a top-ten finish in Race 2 on Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, his best MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship result since the Czech Round.

Wet conditions on Saturday provided a challenge for all riders and Gerloff was the first victim to the conditions after a crash on the Sighting Lap leaving Turn 11 and into Turn 12 prevented him from taking to Saturday’s encounter. Things improved for the Texas-born star on Sunday as he went fourth-fastest in the morning Warm-Up session before racing got underway later on.

The five-lap Tissot Superpole Race, where Gerloff started from 11th in the five-lap restarted race, with the American battling his way up to eighth to take a third row start for Race 2, lining up from eighth place. This gave Gerloff a springboard in the 19-lap Race 2 to move up the field to take seventh place. It was his best result since the Superpole Race at the Autodrom Most, and also meant he finished Race 2 as the top Independent rider.

Reflecting on his weekend at the same venue he took his first WorldSBK podium at in 2020, Gerloff said: “It was nice. It was still a bit difficult. In the afternoon with the temperatures a bit higher, it was really difficult to find any grip out there. It’s really frustrating to be right behind the battle for third, I think it was, and just slowly drop off every lap. I feel like the bike was quite good, I just had a difficult time keeping the momentum and keeping the pace. It was nice to be top Independent rider at least and to give a little something to my team. They deserve it. That was a decent positive for today and try to carry that into next weekend.”

WorldSBK visits Jerez next weekend in the second of three back-to-back races and it is a venue Gerloff went well at on his debut in 2020, claiming his first top-ten finish in WorldSBK with eighth in the Superpole Race before backing that up with tenth in Race 2. With more experience under his belt, the American star will be looking to continue his Sunday Catalunya form into the Spanish Round.

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