American rookie Garrett Gerloff showed strong pace throughout the Estoril Round and secured two podiums, but it could have been more…
After securing his first podium of his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship career at the Catalunya Round just a few weeks ago, American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) returned to the rostrum with two more podiums at the Circuito Estoril for the Pirelli Estoril Round.
Gerloff had his best Tissot Superpole result of the season on Saturday when he secured a front row start with third place, lining up alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) and Leon Haslam (Team HRC) for both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, and he was able to convert the good starting position into third and second respectively.
Second in the Tissot Superpole Race meant he lined up there for the start of Race 2 and was running in podium contention in the first few laps of the 21-lap race but a crash at Turn 4 meant the American retired from the race on Lap 3, unable to make it a hat-trick of podium finishes as the 2020 season came to an end.
Discussing his strong Superpole Race, Gerloff said: “The Superpole Race was really nice. It just felt like everything was working, like the Yamaha R1 was on rails. I lost everything in the first two laps compared to Toprak and that was pretty much it. I was maintaining the same kind of pace and with a couple of laps to go, I had a gap behind so was able to bring it home. I was supper happy to finish second.”
When asked about the crash that cost him a potential fourth podium of his short WorldSBK career, Gerloff said: “In Race 2, I was just hoping to be there fighting for that one little place more that I need to feel really good! I was trying to keep up but when we got the bike, we looked at the data and it seems everything was in within five per cent of everything I had been doing in the laps before. There’s a possibility I was a little bit wide. You can see there’s a clear line where the bikes have been going. I might have touched a little bit outside that grove. I’m disappointed, I felt like we had a really good bike and I was definitely feeling good after the Superpole Race and thought we could be there. Chaz was riding awesomely so maybe we couldn’t have been there with him, but who knows?”
Gerloff has shown consistent improvements throughout his debut WorldSBK campaign and that has culminated with three podium finishes; while he was able to fight for more. After confirmation came that he will stay with the GRT Yamaha outfit for 2021, Gerloff will be hoping he can build upon these performances in 2021.
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