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Gerloff Satisfied, Nozane Progress Hampered After Incident on Day 1 at Jerez

Gerloff Satisfied, Nozane Progress Hampered After Incident on Day 1 at Jerez

Today marked the beginning of the second leg of the FIM Superbike World Championship’s triple-header, which will bring the European part of the season to a close. The Circuito de Jerez hosted the first two free practice sessions of the Spanish round, during which the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team worked hard to provide the two riders with a solid base for the set-up ahead of the rest of their weekend.

Garrett Gerloff, whose second-ever WorldSBK race weekend took place at this track in August of last year, returned to Jerez knowing that the nature of this track, in which long and fast corners are prevalent, can favour the Yamaha R1 bikes. He was the quickest of the independent riders all day, and ended both FP1 and FP2 in the ninth position. 

As for Kohta Nozane, at the beginning of the day his experience at the Spanish track only consisted of the winter tests conducted here at the end of last year. His Friday plan was to close the gap with his rivals by running as many laps as possible but, after completing the most laps in FP1, in which he was 18th fastest, a crash at Turn 5 in the early stages of FP2 compromised the rest of his day. Nozane was unhurt, but the Japanese rider could only run three laps at the end of the session, which he ended in 22nd position.

For Friday’s combined times, click here.

Garrett Gerloff: P9 - 1'40.745

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

Today’s results may not be as great as I would have liked, but I am really satisfied. I believe we have made some adjustments that work really well, in the second session in particular. In the afternoon I felt much better, I could set competitive times and I was quite consistent, so I am optimistic for tomorrow. It will be a very different day weather-wise for sure, but I am very excited to come back to the track in the morning to get qualifying and the first race under our belt. Big thanks to the GRT Yamaha team for giving me an awesome Yamaha R1; I am ready for tomorrow.

Kohta Nozane: P21 - 1'41.853

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

The day got off with a pretty good start in FP1. My pace was not bad and we could work on the tyre choice for the race. Then, in FP2, the feeling was not bad, but I made a mistake on the first lap and I crashed. The bike was a bit damaged, and I want to thank the whole team because everybody immediately went to work to fix it, but our afternoon programme suffered greatly because of the accident. Tomorrow the bike will again be as good as new, and I will start the day with a fresh mindset to do better. I like this circuit, despite very different conditions from last year’s winter test, during which the track had much more grip. I know all the other riders know this track very well because they have always tested here, but I am quite close to them and tomorrow I plan to improve some more.