In the opening race of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship season in Aragón, GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Garrett Gerloff recovered to a ninth-place result, with Kohta Nozane finishing just outside of the points.
Following the first free practice sessions of the year on Friday, Gerloff and Nozane returned to the MotorLand Aragón circuit for Free Practice 3. The American placed seventh in the morning, with Nozane 22nd. Then came the Tissot Superpole qualifying session, which saw Gerloff go 11th fastest on a 1’49.541, while teammate Nozane was 19th (1’51.098).
In Race 1, Gerloff dropped a couple of places on the start, and had to fight his way back through. In the closing stages, the 26-year-old managed to climb back inside the top 10 with strong late pace, eventually finishing ninth as the Top Independent Rider.
In typical fashion, Nozane made an excellent start, gaining five positions to run in the points-paying positions. After that, the #3 rider battled with those around, but he struggled with the grip in the latter stages, eventually finishing 18th.
The GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team will analyse the data from Race 1 to improve their performance tomorrow in the Superpole Race at 11:00 (CET) and Race 2 at 14:00 (CET).
“I’m disappointed with the qualifying because we’ve been top five all winter, so I was expecting to be in the first two rows. Because of that, I had a difficult beginning of the race, but the bike was feeling good and I had strong pace at the end, finishing inside the top 10. I want more than that, but I’m happy to be top Independent Rider for my GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team, and now we have a clear plan for tomorrow, where we’ll try to push more.”
“I was surprised with FP3 and qualifying, I didn’t expect to be as far down the order as I was. Luckily, in Race 1, I got a good start and I was able to overtake a lot of rider. Then I tried to push to maintain my position. Lap after lap, I tried to keep a constant pace but unfortunately that wasn’t enough to stay inside the points. We took away some positives and we’ll work on it to improve the performance tomorrow.”