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Eventful WorldSBK Race 1 for Gerloff and Caricasulo

Eventful WorldSBK Race 1 for Gerloff and Caricasulo

Today was the race debut for both GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team rookies in the Superbike World Championship.

Earlier in the day the team made good progress with bike setup and the riders were confident going into their first ever Superpole. Caricasulo was fast straight away but he had no experience with the qualifying tires, so he could not take advantage of them. Teammate Gerloff was slightly unlucky because the red flag was waved when his lap times were starting to improve. He also had difficulty with the use of the special qualifying tires. Caricasulo started from the 4th row and Gerloff from the 6th. 

At the start of the race Gerloff was really aggressive making his way up till the 7th position and kept the pace of the top 6 quite well. By the end of the race his tyres were finished so he lost a few positions but considering that he has never experienced the WorldSBK race situation, his performance was very impressive. Caricasulo had a more relaxed start as he did not want to take too many risks. The Italian was involved in an incident with Rea at the beginning of the race and the contact activated his airbag which caused additional difficulty for him. He finished the race where he started, in 12th position. Overall, it was a positive and useful Race 1 for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team, both riders scored their first championship points. Number one goal for Sunday’s races will be to implement the strategy based on today’s effort and get closer to the Top.

Garrett Gerloff

Position: 14th

I feel like we have a lot of positives to take from the first race. We finished it and gathered useful information. I did not have the best start, but once I got to turn 1 I was able to make quite a few moves and found myself in 7th place, which I was very happy about. By the time I got that position, there was already a little bit of gap with the front guys. I was trying to close the gap to the top 6 but doing this used too much my tyres. I went too fast in the beginning and probably would have been better to go slower and have more tyre at the end, so I could have been more consistent and finished a lot higher than I did. This is something to keep in mind for tomorrow and it’s definitely going to be a difference between the 2 races. For the Superpole Race I do not really worry about tyre life, but for Race 2 we have a separate plan. I look forward to tomorrow, now we know what we should do and I feel much more confident.

Federico Caricasulo

Position: 12th

Today's race was interesting. I was very courious what a true Superbike race would feel like. It was very different what I am used to. The race helped me to understand so many things that look different from what we see from the outside. The small incident with Rea ended up alright, probably I would have done the same thing. The only problem was that it activated my airbag so I had to race with it which lost me some time. Tomorrow I will try to push harder in the first 2-3 laps and be faster lap by lap. I would like to stay closer to that group where Sykes and Davies were riding today.