Gerloff vs Rea for day two morning honours in Catalunya

Thursday, 1 April 2021 12:04 GMT

Up-and-coming American star Garrett Gerloff edged reigning Champion Jonathan Rea in the morning session by just 0.012s

After all five manufacturers were represented in the top five positions in yesterday’s order at the end of the day, the morning session on day two provided similar levels of competitiveness as Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) went head-to-head to set the fastest time of the morning session, with Gerloff just coming out on top.

Gerloff scored the first podium of his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2020 and showed strong pace to finish in the top three on the opening day of testing, repeating that pace in the morning on day two as he focused on the base setting of his Yamaha YZF R1, although the American did have a crash in the morning at Turn 7 but was able to continue. For Rea, he had more small items on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR as he looks to refine the package ahead of the new campaign after ending day one on top; both Gerloff and Rea the only riders to lap in the 1’40s bracket.

Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) put the BMW M 1000 RR into the top three during the morning while he focused on setup while they still had “fundamental work” to do on the bike, with teammate Michael van der Mark in 11th place. Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) finished in fourth place, less than four tenths off Gerloff’s best time, with teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi in seventh, two tenths away from Redding.

Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes finished in the top five as he recovers from an injury sustained a couple of months ago that forced him to miss a KRT test at Portimao, with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) completing the top six, with the reigning WorldSSP Champion having an issue in the entry to the pitlane with just over an hour gone in the day. Teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu completed just six laps in the morning session, with the team hoping to verify some information collected at Misano, also trying the new fairing and brakes.

Team GoEleven’s Chaz Davies was just over half-a-second away from Gerloff’s time after getting on his Ducati Panigale V4 R for the first time in 2021 yesterday, finishing around a tenth-and-a-half ahead of Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) with the German getting into the finer details of his M 1000 RR with a big list of settings to get through during testing, as well as new electronics systems.

Leon Haslam (Team HRC) claimed a top ten spot for Honda as the team tried to perfect the seat position for both riders, although Alvaro Bautista’s test came to a premature end following his admission he was not feeling 100% after a motocross accident recently, completing just six laps. The team also have a new exhaust system for both riders, designed to be as ergonomic as possible with the riders as well as an engine upgrade.

Italian rider Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) claimed 13th place with the team planning on some time attack runs as the qualifying tyre is new for the youngest rider on the grid. 2014 Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat (Barni Racing Team) was 15th, just 0.001s away from Bautista’s best time of the day but three tenths clear of Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished the morning in 17th place out of 20 riders after getting on the 2021 ZX-10RR for the first time yesterday, finishing six tenths clear of Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha). Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team), who was only announced on Tuesday morning, was 19th for the morning with Sameule Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) in 20th place.

The top six as of 2:00pm Local Time:

  1. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 1’40.790s, 38 laps
  2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.012s, 25 laps
  3. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.211s, 34 laps
  4. Scott Redding (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) +0.386s, 40 laps
  5. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.405s, 44 laps
  6. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.468s, 39 laps

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