Good weather conditions helped the team work on understanding how to help the riders gain confidence with the Spanish track. Despite the nature of the track, the two GRT Yamaha riders proved to be competitive, with Garrett Gerloff always close to the top of the standings, and Kohta Nozane continuing to get better acquainted with the bike and the tyres.
Gerloff’s side of the garage focused on testing new shocks and on looking for the correct setup for the bike in preparation for the upcoming race. These two days turned out to be particularly important for the American, who did not have the outright pace to fight with the leaders in last year’s Aragón race and hopes to turn things around in 2021. When looking at the standings, the results are encouraging: fourth after the first day, with a fastest time of 1’50.527.
On Day 2 he climbed to third, and improved his lap time by more than one second, clocking in a 1’49.439. The experience gained in the 125 laps run throughout the two days will prove crucial when we come back to the this track for the first round of the championship on 21-23 May.
On the flip side of the coin, as usual in this pre-season, Nozane had a much different target than his teammate during this test. The Japanese rider is still new to the bike, the team, the tyres, but especially the circuits on the WorldSBK calendar, and is taking full advantage of every test session to become more comfortable with the whole package.
Despite a difficult first approach with the track, he showed solid speed for a rookie, and ended the first day in ninth place thanks to a 1:51.711. He further improved on the second day, but an early crash hurt his confidence with the track, and a best lap of 1:51.277, good enough for the eighth position, was the best he could manage. With the two days of testing completed, he can count on a total of 118 laps of experience at the twisty Spanish circuit.
In order to continue the preparation for the first round, the GRT Yamaha squad will already be testing again at the Aragón track next week, on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 April.