GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff focused on fine-tuning the setup of his Yamaha R1 in order to fight for the top positions, as the American looks to repeat last year’s stellar performance. It was not all smooth sailing for him, though, as at the end of the first day he was not fully satisfied with the bike’s setup, despite some strong lap times.
Kohta Nozane’s crew, instead, worked on getting him acquainted with yet another brand-new track in what is his second-ever WorldSBK weekend. After a solid first round in Aragón, the Japanese wants to keep improving, but his work plan was hampered by a big highside suffered at the end of FP2.
In the morning session, Gerloff was eighth thanks to a 1'38.074, and he still could not feel completely comfortable with the set-up in FP2, which was affected by much higher track temperatures (43°C compared to the morning’s 31°C). He still managed to set a 1'37.826, fast enough for fourth position, demonstrating that, if tomorrow’s set-up adjustments prove to be effective, he will be in the hunt for the podium again. His lap was good enough for sixth on combined times.
Nozane’s plan for the day was to progressively get more comfortable on the new circuit. After a 1'39.607 put him in the 18th position in the FP1, the Japanese rider was not able to improve as much as he expected in the afternoon, and a fall in Turn 13 cut his session short. He was uninjured, but the bike required extensive repairs. He therefore ended FP2 yet again in 18th place, but his 1'39.036 still represented a step in the right direction. Running more laps tomorrow will undoubtedly help him get closer to the front.
For Friday's combined times, click here.