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Gerloff Sixth, Nozane in the Points in Race 1 at Most

Gerloff Sixth, Nozane in the Points in Race 1 at Most

On Saturday, the sun was back at Autodrom Most and the first FIM Superbike World Championship points of the weekend were on the line for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team. Garrett Gerloff battled to a sixth-place finish, while Kohta Nozane recovered from an early fall to score points in 14th.

Gerloff started Saturday on the right foot with the fifth fastest time in the morning’s practice session (1'32.967), a performance which he then repeated in qualifying (1'32.238). 

In the race, after a solid start from the grid, he was caught out by the peculiar design of Turns 1 and 2 and lost several places in the melee of the first corners. 10th at the end of the first lap, the rest of his race was devoted to recovering the lost positions, a task made more difficult by the twisty nature of the Czech track, which does not promote overtakes. Still, the Texan was a solid sixth at the chequered flag.

For his teammate Kohta Nozane, his race was a perfect demonstration of never giving up that giving up. In FP3 the Japanese improved his best lap from yesterday by almost a second, ending the session in 16th place with a 1'34.489. He was then unable to find a smooth lap in the Superpole and qualified 18th (1'34.167). 

With the target to recover as many positions as possible in the race, the #3 rider made a costly mistake in Turn 2 and fell on the second lap. Despite the damage, though, he picked up his bike and managed to continue, now in last place. With the tricky Most venue seeing several riders crash, Nozane slowly climbed his way back up the standings and at the end of the 22 laps he was 14th, collecting two points that seemed out of reach in the early laps.

For full Superpole results, click here.
For full Race 1 results, click here.

Garrett Gerloff: P6

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

This track is really fun and it has a really nice flow to it, but this makes passing a little more difficult. My R1 felt awesome, the GRT Yamaha team did a great job to give me a really good bike and, when I was in clean air, the times weren’t so bad, it was just a bit too difficult to keep the same pace when I caught Bassani and Rinaldi. Overall, it was nice to just finish the race, it didn’t take much to crash today. With the higher temperatures, the track had a bit less grip to offer, which seems to often be the case with these Pirelli tyres and on the European tracks in general. It took a second to get used to it, but once you get into a rhythm you don’t notice it any longer, and the times turned out to be quite decent anyway. I had a good launch from the grid today, but I need to figure out how to keep my position better in the tight first corner for tomorrow, because it is different from any other track I have ever raced at. That will be our work plan for tomorrow, which will also include a couple of adjustments on the bike, but nothing major.

Kohta Nozane: P14

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

In qualifying I caught a yellow flag at a bad time and it didn’t go very well. In the race, I lost some positions on the first lap and then tried to recover them, but unfortunately I crashed on the second lap. The bike had a little bit of damage, but not too severe so I could continue. I will now try to reset my mental approach to get the best possible results in Sunday’s races. It was a bummer today because I couldn’t get a very good finishing position, but tomorrow is a new day and I will try again.