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Tough Start for Pata Yamaha Pairing as Loris Baz Tops the Timesheet in Jerez

Tough Start for Pata Yamaha Pairing as Loris Baz Tops the Timesheet in Jerez

After a near five-month sabbatical, the battle for the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship title was resumed today in Jerez. Hot and humid conditions made for a tough return for Pata Yamaha with Rizla WorldSBK Official riders, Toprak Razgatlıoğlu and Michael van der Mark, who ended the day in seventh and eighth place respectively. It was Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported rider Loris Baz who best mastered the tricky conditions, with the Frenchman topping the timesheet at the conclusion of the opening day.

Phillip Island race-winner Razgatlıoğlu was sixth fastest in the cooler conditions of the opening free practice this morning, in a session that saw the top 10 separated by less than 0.5s. Like the majority of his rivals the Pata Yamaha rider was unable to improve on his lap time in the much hotter conditions this afternoon and ended the day seventh on combined times.

Van der Mark was less than a tenth off the time of his Pata Yamaha teammate in the opening session, ending seventh fastest. Although he too struggled to match this pace in the sweltering conditions of FP2, the Dutch rider was still able to finish the opening day in Jerez in eighth place and confident of further improvements ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team riders impressed again today in Spain, with promising pace around the 4.428 km circuit. Garrett Gerloff continued to improve during the morning practice session and in the final few moments jumped into the top 10, which became 11th on combined times, as the American was unable to match his previous pace in the trickier conditions this afternoon. 

Federico Caricasulo was 11th quickest this morning, just behind his teammate. The Italian also showed strong pace in the warmer afternoon session, where he placed seventh to go 12th overall for the day. 

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Baz played a starring role in both free practices, holding top spot throughout most of Friday’s morning session, where he remained unchallenged. The Frenchman completed more laps than anyone else in the afternoon, in preparation for tomorrow’s race, and ended the day fastest overall. 

For full results, click here

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team

Today was good to start with, but we were trying new set-ups on the bike that didn’t always give us the improvements we maybe expected. It’ll be a long race and very hot and, while we don’t have the best feeling at the moment, hopefully tomorrow we can make another step. Because of the track conditions, the bike is sliding quite a lot, but we will work to improve in this area tomorrow morning ahead of qualifying and Race 1.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team

It’s awesome to be back on track with all the other guys again. To be honest I couldn’t find a good rhythm this morning and struggled with set-up, but in the afternoon we changed quite a lot on the bike. I didn’t feel too comfortable with it under braking but then we made another big step during the session. We did a longer run and I felt much more comfortable. We’re missing a few tenths from the race pace, but at least I’m feeling more confident with my R1. Tomorrow morning, we should be able to make another big step, but qualifying and the race are the most important and, as I said, we just need to find a couple of tenths for both.

Garrett Gerloff

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team

It was definitely a positive start, it felt good right off the bat. We made some changes in Barcelona that have definitely worked here. This afternoon with the track much hotter, we struggled to maintain the same consistency and outright pace, but we made some good progress in the end. We will focus on improving in the hotter temperatures, as that is what the race conditions will be tomorrow. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I'm confident that we have a good bike. The race pace isn’t bad, we’re not far off so after a few changes we’ll be right where we need to be.

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team

Today was very tough, as it was really hot and FP2 was particularly hard. We did a good job because we improved the bike between the practice sessions and managed the same lap time, despite the hotter temperatures. I’m happy because I didn’t use the soft tyre, I just focused on race runs. I think we are very close to all of the other Yamaha riders, which is good, and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Loris Baz

Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK Supported Team

It was a good first day back, even if it was a bit up and down this morning with a small technical issue. We decided after the tests in Barcelona and Assen that we have to change something on the bike, especially for the heat, so we made some adjustments this morning and I’m confident ahead of the race tomorrow. It’s always great to finish a session in first and to improve the lap times, even if it’s only a Friday. This afternoon we did 20 laps on one set of tyres and it felt pretty good, so I think we’re in a strong position.