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Gerloff Takes Top 10 Finish, Nozane Scores First Points for GRT Yamaha in Aragon Opener

Gerloff Takes Top 10 Finish, Nozane Scores First Points for GRT Yamaha in Aragon Opener

The second day of action at the MotorLand Aragòn saw the FIM Superbike World Championship riders back on track to finally compete for the first points of the season. For the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team, Saturday was a day full of ups and downs, with Garrett Gerloff finishing ninth in the opening race, while Kohta Nozane picked up his first points in 14th.

Both riders enjoyed a strong Superpole session, with Gerloff first of the Yamaha riders in sixth, and Kohta Nozane improving his fastest time greatly in his first qualifying session on the soft Pirelli tyres. On the flip side of the coin, the higher temperatures of Race 1 did not allow the Yamaha R1 to exploit its potential fully, leaving the two GRT Yamaha riders further away from the leaders than they had hoped.

Tomorrow’s weather predictions seem to be exactly what the team wants to hear, as the forecasted lack of sunshine and lower temperatures should be helpful to fight at the front in the Superpole Race and Race 2. 

In the first race, Gerloff made a superb start, with the American able to immediately make his way up to fourth position. In the following laps, though, he was not able to maintain the same stellar pace, eventually taking the chequered flag in ninth. The speed is there, and the 25-year-old will try to fight for the podium again tomorrow. 

Nozane’s race got off to a very strong start, with the Japanese rider immediately able to work his way to 11th on the first lap, but he then struggled to maintain the same pace for the remainder of the race. His 14th final position still provides him with his first points, as well as experience and data, which will prove crucial tomorrow and in the upcoming rounds.

For Race 1 results, click here.

Garrett Gerloff: P9

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

This morning we started off really well. We went back to our base setting and immediately had a good feeling, also thanks to the much cooler weather, which really helps the Yamaha R1. I felt good in the Superpole, and I was happy about the second row, since I have never been particularly good at qualifying and this track has never been the best for us. The bike felt great, so I was really looking forward to exploiting that in the race, but then the sun came out and the track lost some grip. It was a bit difficult for me to ride consistently, but we think we now know what we need to change for tomorrow. It is frustrating because we know we can do more, and I don’t want to be ninth, but we will surely be stronger on Sunday.

Kohta Nozane: P14

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

In the Superpole I achieved my best lap time so far here. I tried to push for a 1’49 and wasn’t able to make it happen, but I’m still happy with my performance in qualifying. In the race, the start was really good, I managed to get up to 11th, but I couldn’t hold on as my pace was dropping, which was a bit disappointing. I was able to manage the race to the finish, though, and I am very satisfied with this. I discovered a lot of areas that I need to work on and improve. The fact that there are three races is very advantageous for me, I learned several things that will help me for tomorrow.