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Gerloff Ninth in Race 1, Nozane Enjoys Best Feature Result at Navarra

Gerloff Ninth in Race 1, Nozane Enjoys Best Feature Result at Navarra

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Garrett Gerloff recovered from an early mistake to finish ninth in the first-ever FIM Superbike World Championship race at Navarra, as rookie teammate Kohta Nozane enjoyed his best feature-length race result in 11th.

Picking up from where they left off on Friday, the GRT Yamaha riders were able to improve their times in Free Practice 3, as well as their feeling with the Yamaha R1 and the Spanish circuit. 

After going fifth in FP3, Gerloff was ninth-fastest in the ultra-tight Tissot Superpole session, and had high expectations for the race, given the strong pace he had shown throughout the first part of the weekend. 

Come race time, though, he was not able to capitalise on his potential due to a difficult start. At the end of the third lap, the American was down in 15th and the remainder of his race was devoted to recovering towards the front. His pace was, again, very quick in clean air but for much of the running, he could not exploit it as he was stuck in traffic. Still, he managed to recover to a ninth-place finish and now aims to run a solid Tissot Superpole Race tomorrow, in order to be closer to the front at the beginning of Race 2.

On the other side of the garage, Nozane made impressive progress and ended the day with a very solid performance in Race 1. His improvement was immediately visible in FP3, during which the Japanese rider improved his fastest lap by 1.5 seconds and was 15th. 

Nozane qualified in the same position thanks to his 1'37.664, before running a very solid race in which he battled with Michael Ruben Rinaldi. In the latter stages, he lost touch with the factory Ducati rider and finished just outside the top-10, in 11th place. Still, he can be satisfied with the steps forward that he has been making throughout the weekend so far.

For Race 1 results, click here.

Garrett Gerloff: P9

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

Today’s qualifying was really close, as there were only a couple of tenths between third place and me in ninth. I hoped to have a better starting position but everyone was really fast. In the race I didn’t have the best start and my first lap was not very good either: I really pushed on the front and I almost crashed in the last corner, letting several guys by. It was a difficult start but as the race developed things started to get better and better. I was able to make some passes and set a couple of fast times. I know that both myself and the team have more potential, so we are going to work to find what we need for tomorrow’s races and see what happens. I want to say thank you to the GRT Yamaha team, to Yamaha and to everyone that supports us.

Kohta Nozane: P11

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

In qualifying I set my best lap of the weekend and it felt good but my starting position was still not enough. In the race I had a very good start and the first 10 laps were really solid but the conditions were really difficult due to the heat. This made the track surface very slippery and in the last five laps my pace dropped quite a bit. Therefore, tomorrow we want to continue improving in the final stages. Still, this was my best race of the season, which is very positive.