The renewed GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team concluded its penultimate test at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 25-26 March with over 20 riders involved as the start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship gets ever closer. Kohta Nozane and Garrett Gerloff could finally run their Yamaha R1 bikes with the new liveries, following the official Team Launch on 24 March.
On the first day, both riders could run in good weather conditions, but the low grip made it difficult to maximise their potential. With track open from 10:00 to 18:00, without any break, and just a little stop at the end of the day due to a red flag, Gerloff and Nozane were able to continue the work done at the Misano World Circuit just one week ago.
Therefore, Gerloff set a 1’41.229 (85 laps), despite a small crash in the middle of the day at Turn 10. Anyway, that didn’t prevent the American rider from finding pace, ending Day 1 third fastest. On the other side of the box, Nozane picked up his rhythm run after run, and finished with a 1’42.428 (74 laps), which saw him go 14th.
On Day 2, despite the overcast conditions, the rain held off in the morning and Gerloff kept working on his pace to go fifth fastest with a 1’41.320 (45 laps). Teammate Nozane did the same and was 14th overall on a 1’42.509 after 25 laps.
Just before the halfway stage, heavy rain disrupted the remainder of the test. That didn’t prevent the team from running though, and both Nozane and Gerloff went out with the Pirelli rain tyres to test the new Yamaha R1 in wet conditions. In the afternoon, the Japanese rider recorded a 1’57.208 (20 laps), while the American did a 1’56.332 (17 laps), with the team opting to end the test prematurely due to the colder conditions.
From now on, the last step for the GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team before the 2022 FIM World Superbike Championship season commences will be the official Aragòn test set for 4-5 April, which will also host the opening round on 8-10 April.
Garrett Gerloff: "Day 1 here in Barcelona wasn't the easiest as the track didn’t have much grip. Anyway, we did a good job and I'm glad the things we tried in Misano worked here as well. We kept working on the electronics, and we made step forward with that. I'm happy that we were able to try numerous parts and settings, and the race pace was good as well. I had a small crash on the first day at Turn 10, but that didn't stop us from getting everything done. On Day 2 we continued with our schedule, confirming the improvements we’ve made. Moreover, we could do some laps in the wet condition and it was important because we needed the data. We're in a good spot, and now I’m focused on the final test at Motorland Aragòn."
Kohta Nozane: Kohta Nozane: "The first day was a bit more difficult than expected. At the Misano World Circuit the track had good grip, but here in Barcelona the asphalt was very green. Anyway, we kept working and took some positives from this test. We were able to complete some laps in the rain too, which was important as we might face wet conditions during the season and we need to be ready for that. Now I'll keep working to be prepared for the final test before the beginning of the championship."
Filippo Conti claims: "It was very emotional to see our new Yamaha R1 bikes on track after the official unveiling on 24 March. Overall, it was once again a good test and we had the chance to ride in wet conditions as well. Testing in every condition is really important to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming season. In just one week we'll have the final test in Aragòn and then the 2022 season will get underway. We're more than ready and I would like to thank the whole crew for the massive job they're doing, Yamaha and every partner which is believing in our project."