The American will hope to start 2022 with a rostrum visit as he looks to bounce back from a rollercoaster 2021 season
After a long off-season, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returned to the track to start the 2022 season with the Pirelli Aragon Round at MotorLand Aragon. The Spanish venue was the scene of Garrett Gerloff’s (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) first podium of the 2021 season last year, with the American hoping he can replicate that as the 2022 season starts at the Spanish venue.
Gerloff started the Aragon Round strongly as he went fourth in the combined classification after Friday’s two 45-minute Free Practice sessions with a best time of 1’49.900s which he posted in Free Practice 2. It meant the American found around three tenths of a second between his FP1 and FP2 time as he goes in search of his first rostrum visit since the 2021 UK Round.
Discussing his goals for the weekend, Gerloff said: “I feel good. I feel really good. Conditions were a little bit different today, but we were really good at adapting. I feel confident that we can be up there fighting with somebody for the podium. There are a couple of guys that have really strong race pace and it’s pretty impressive. We have some more to make up in that area but I’m confident that, after riding today, we can try to make up some time.”
MotorLand Aragon has traditionally not been a happy hunting ground for Yamaha with their last win at the Spanish venue coming in 2011 courtesy of Marco Melandri in Race 1. The Japanese manufacturer added two podiums to their Aragon tally in 2021, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) and Gerloff scoring one apiece. With the Japanese manufacturer working hard, like all five manufacturers, over the winter to take a step forward, could 2022 end the winning drought at Aragon for Yamaha?
Ahead of racing getting underway on Saturday with Race 1, Gerloff outlined how he thinks the improvements Yamaha have made will help him. He said: “I think Yamaha have done a really good job improving the bike in a lot of different areas and I think it’s showing. I’m curious to see how the bike is, in my case, going to race. I feel like some of the improvements I’ve been able to make might conflict with where other guys are going fast. What I mean is I feel like I’m really strong in the mid-corner and better than maybe the Kawasaki in mid-corner, but then if you’re behind you can’t use it and then on the drive maybe you don’t have the advantage. It should be an interesting race. I’m really impressed with all the things Yamaha have been doing and I think we have a really good package for the race.”
BE PART OF HISTORY: watch all the racing from MotorLand Aragon using the WorldSBK VideoPass!