Of the Yamaha runners, GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff went quickest, with his time of 1’49.439 good enough for third overall, while the five riders combined for 493 laps of the 5.344 km circuit.
American rider Gerloff has so far enjoyed an impressive pre-season, after strong performances in both the Misano and Barcelona tests, and that form continued at Aragón. The 25-year-old spent the opening day working on race set-up, trialling new shocks on his 2021 Yamaha R1 and laying down the groundwork ahead of the season opener here on 21-23 May.
After posting the fourth fastest time on day one, Gerloff continued to up his pace throughout the second day and set his fastest lap in the afternoon, while track conditions were at their best. Not only was his time good enough for third overall, but the Texan finished with the most laps of the Yamaha riders, with 125 completed.
At Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK, due to the cold temperatures Andrea Locatelli’s side of the garage elected to sit out the first morning of testing, meaning they could allocate another half-day of regulated testing for a later date. The Italian completed 52 laps in the afternoon, which included a small off at Turn 4, and the limited running meant he could only manage sixth fastest by the end of the day.
On the second day, Locatelli continued to get to grips with the tricky Aragón circuit, and he too improved his time late in the test, with the 24-year-old’s best effort of 1’50.257 putting him fifth overall, having done 118 laps across his one-and-a-half days of running.
GRT Yamaha 2021 newcomer Kohta Nozane had expected this test to be his toughest yet, owing to the difficult nature of the technical Spanish venue and relative inexperience of the WorldSBK-spec Yamaha R1 and Pirelli tyres. The Japanese rider made gradual progress and was ninth fastest after the opening day’s running.
An early fall on the second day knocked Nozane’s confidence, but he was still able to improve his pace by half-a-second, with a best lap of 1’51.277 seeing him end the two days in eighth. The reigning All Japan Road Race JSB1000 champion completed 118 laps of the Alcañiz venue and looks forward to more track time here at the upcoming second test (21-22 April).
With Toprak Razgatlıoğlu forced to miss the first Aragón test, after returning another positive Covid-19 result on Saturday 10 April, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official rider and Yamaha WorldSBK rider coach Niccolò Canepa was called upon to step in at Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK.
Carrying an ankle injury from a recent testing crash, rather than chase outright lap speed and performance, Canepa completed some important development work on the opening day, and left the test with 38 laps on the board.
Alstare Yamaha also completed a successful test with their rider Christophe Ponsson, who ended the two days with the ninth best time on a 1’52.269 after 94 laps of the Aragón circuit.