For Pata Yamaha, they will hope for a repeat of their success in Phillip Island, where Toprak Razgatlıoğlu rode to a superb victory in the opening race of the season on his debut with the Yamaha R1. The Turkish star would make the podium again in the Tissot Superpole race but was forced to retire from Race 2 with a technical issue while battling among the front-runners. He has been on the podium before in Jerez, finishing third in the second race last year, and showed good potential in the Barcelona test.
On the other side of the garage, Michael van der Mark had an equally impressive showing in the Australian opener. The Dutch rider just missed out on a podium finish across the three races, but was never more than a second away from the rostrum, and his consistency puts him just three points off his teammate in the riders’ standings. The 2014 Supersport World Champion tasted victory at Jerez last year with the Pata Yamaha squad and will certainly be one of the favourites heading into the weekend.
In the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team camp, Federico Caricasulo is another who’s been successful at the Spanish venue. The Italian has twice stood on top of the WorldSSP rostrum at Jerez, winning there in both 2017 and 2019, and will now benefit from experience gained during his maiden WorldSBK outing in Phillip Island.
Teammate and former MotoAmerica Superbike Championship star Garrett Gerloff has only ridden the 4.428 km circuit during pre-season testing, but showed at the Phillip Island circuit on his debut in March that he's quick to adapt and the Texan is looking to be back inside the points for round two.
Loris Baz of Ten Kate Yamaha is no stranger to racing at the Circuito de Jerez, and took the WorldSBK pole position here in 2014. It’s also where he made his return to the championship with Yamaha last year, and the French rider will look to build on a strong and consistent 2020 opener, as well as a promising Barcelona test.
Friday kicks off WorldSBK’s return to action, with Free Practice 1 and 2 at 11:30 and 15:00 (local time) respectively. Following a final Free Practice on Saturday at 09:00, the Superpole at 11:00 will decide the grids for the first race after 154 days at 14:00. The Tissot Superpole Race will begin at 11:00 on Sunday, before race two concludes the Jerez round at 14:00.