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In Form Gerloff Goes Second on Friday at Assen

In Form Gerloff Goes Second on Friday at Assen

After a three-week break, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team and the rest of the FIM Superbike World Championship paddock reunited today at TT Circuit Assen for the fifth round of the season. After the impressive results achieved at Donington Park, Garrett Gerloff got this weekend off to a fine start, going second fastest on combined times.

American rider Gerloff is riding the wave of his strong performance in Great Britain and of the news of his contract renewal with Yamaha. Despite some difficulties to adjust to the Dutch track on a Superbike machine in Free Practice 1 (seventh with a 1’35.150, after having raced here on a MotoGP bike last month), the Texan managed to find the right feeling with his R1 in the afternoon and posted the second-fastest time in the session (1’34.512).

Kohta Nozane, instead, had a different target today: despite not having fully recovered from an injury sustained to the middle finger of his right hand in a crash in Navarra last month, the Japanese got back in the saddle and tried to learn yet another new track. 18th in the morning with a 1’36.652, he found a few more tenths in FP2, ending the day in 19th (1’36.405). With bad weather looming over the rest of the weekend, Nozane may be one of the competitors not disappointed by the possibility of racing in the wet, which is less demanding on the riders and their fitness.

For Friday’s combined times, click here.

Garrett Gerloff: P2 – 1’34.512

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

Riding here on a MotoGP bike is totally different from riding here on a Superbike. The hardest thing for me this morning was to change my muscle memory and my breaking markers from the ones I had developed on the MotoGP to the ones I need on the R1, but it was kind of difficult to do and I struggled in FP1. After resetting my mindset though, everything felt much better in the afternoon. I feel good, we have decent consistency, but I keep making mistakes that cost me more than half a second per lap, such as running off the track here and there. That is something I have to clean up tomorrow, but when I don’t run off I feel very consistent, also thanks to the great work the GRT Yamaha team has been doing with the setup. We have an idea of what direction we will take when it comes to the tyre compound, but I am not saying anything about it yet, I will just say we will choose a black and round one! The nature of this track allows the whole field to stay close together, no bike is the clear favourite, so it will be a big battle tomorrow.

Kohta Nozane: P19 – 1’36.405

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

In Donington I couldn’t ride, so today was my first time on the bike in a while. I am very happy to be able to participate, but there are a lot of issues and obstacles to overcome, I thought it would be much easier. It was my first time at this track too: learning the circuit is not easy here, so I am taking some time to get used to it. Tomorrow we have FP3 too so, no matter what the weather conditions, I will do my best to achieve the best possible result.