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Gerloff Goes Third on Friday as GRT Yamaha Have Mixed Start to Barcelona Weekend

Gerloff Goes Third on Friday as GRT Yamaha Have Mixed Start to Barcelona Weekend

The sixth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship season, which is held for the first time at the Barcelona circuit, began with the first two free practice sessions, characterised by changing weather conditions, as GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team’s Garrett Gerloff enjoyed his best Friday of his rookie campaign.

FP1, used by the teams and the riders to get acquainted with the Spanish circuit, was run in the dry, whereas in the afternoon the rain made its first appearance since the restart. FP2 offered some experience and data to the GRT Yamaha team, with rain forecast for Saturday.

For the 2020 rookie duo, Friday brought mixed results with American rider Gerloff competitive from the start, finishing the two sessions in third and sixth, whereas Italian Federico Caricasulo, who suffered an off in FP1, struggled to maximise his full potential, and was 14th and 17th.

The team made some adjustments on Friday evening, which will be tested in FP3, beginning at 09:00 (GMT+2). The Superpole and Race 1 will follow at 11:00 and 14:00 respectively.

Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported Team’s Loris Baz was happy with the progress made on Friday, as the Frenchman set the 10th-fastest time in FP1 on the harder compound tyre. In FP2, Baz showed good pace in the wet and was amongst the quickest runners early on before a fall saw him drop to 11th as track conditions improved. 

Making his WorldSBK debut with a wildcard entry, Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing Yamaha’s Jonas Folger was quickly up to speed on Friday, ending both FP1 and FP2 in 15th, just behind Caricasulo.

Garrett Gerloff: P3 - 1'42.478

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team

Today went quite well. I'd love to say we found a magic setup or something, but we didn't. We are using the same bike as in Aragón, and it seems to work. Barcelona is more less my home track, since I live not far away, and I have all the hometown vibe going on. The track is a lot of fun and it almost feels like it was built just for me, since I'm a rider who enjoys being smooth through the corners. In the wet I was quick, these tyres give me a lot of confidence and I can push hard, and I think, rain or shine, we have a good base to build on. There is still a little something left that we want to improve upon for our dry setup, and I wish we had more dry time. Tomorrow I will give my best as usual, in qualifying and in the race, and let's see what we can do. I'd like to thank the GRT Yamaha team, with whom I am working really well. It's a great group of people that helps me a lot both on and off the track.

Federico Caircasulo: P14 - 1'43.597

Today was not an easy day. We worked on the race pace during the FP1, and when it was time to make a time attack I crashed, ruining my chance at a better position. In the afternoon, we had conditions that were pretty much new with WorldSBK for me, and I took advantage of it to turn as many laps and to gain as much experience as possible. Now we are working to improve in all conditions, given the strange and mixed weather forecast, and we aim to come back up to the front tomorrow.