GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff had an eventful World Superbike race one today at Donington Park, the Texan crashing out of third place on the 16th of 23 laps, but remounting to finish seventh.
Gerloff, who qualified fifth in the morning’s wet Superpole session, got shuffled back early in the race as the ever-changing British weather saw the race start in mostly dry conditions but with wet patches on the tarmac. Once things settled in, however, Gerloff went on a charge and found himself in a heated battle for the final podium spot with BMW’s Tom Sykes and Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes. Gerloff was able to work his way past both of them, but he tucked the front two laps later and crashed out of third.
Fortunately, Gerloff’s Yamaha YZF-R1 wasn’t damaged, and he was able to pick it up and get going again. He made short work of Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Lucas Mahias and Team HRC Honda’s Alvaro Bautista to work his way to seventh. That’s where he finished as Honda’s Leon Haslam was too far ahead to catch, the Brit beating him to the line by some 16 seconds.
“I want to give my team some good results because they deserve it, and I really wanted to be on the podium today, so it was disappointing to make my way through the field all the way to the top-three just to throw it away,” Gerloff said in a team release. “I am happy with how the bike is, the Yamaha R1 works really well around here as Toprak (Razgatlioglu) demonstrated, but I am frustrated with how the day ended. The mixed conditions made things tricky during the race, especially in the first sector, which took a long time to dry out. It became a bit easier when the track finally dried, so I am happy to have stayed on two wheels at least until then. I know that we are fast, tomorrow I want to minimize my mistakes and get to the front. I managed to get acquainted quite quickly with this track; doing my homework before the weekend definitely helped, and learning new circuits is something that I have done a lot of in the last few weeks too, so I guess I was just in the right mindset for it.”
The race was won in impressive fashion by Topak Razgatlioglu on the PATA Yamaha over six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea. Rea’s teammate Lowes finished third.
Razgatlioglu closed to within 15 points of Rea in the World Superbike Championship, 169-154.