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GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s’s Garrett Gerloff was 10th in today’s race one of the Portuguese round of the World Superbike Championship in Portimao, the Texan battling the man who will be his teammate next year, Loris Baz, to the finish. Baz and his Bonovo Action BMW beat Gerloff to the flag by .269 of a second.
“I got a so-so start and was able to battle with Loris Baz and the two Hondas and made some passes, but I just had a difficult time passing all of them and moving forward,” Gerloff said. “I couldn’t find a place to pass and unfortunately ended up just inside the top 10, which is not where I want to be. I know we can be closer to that second Yamaha at least. We have work to do for tomorrow and keep going.”
Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne, meanwhile, was 19th after qualifying 16th earlier in the day. Gagne was .388 behind BMW Motorrad WorldSBK’s Scott Redding and 3.9 seconds ahead of Gerloff’s teammate Kohta Nozane. Redding crashed on the last lap but remounted to finish 18th.
“The race got off to a pretty good start, but was kinda put on the outside of turn one, got pushed back and then ran off in turn one big on like the second lap and lost a couple of positions,” Gagne said. “On paper, again, not the result we would have hoped for but I really did learn a lot in that race and the team learned a lot. I think we all understand what we could do a lot better in a lot of better ways tomorrow with setup and everything. Honestly, I kinda screwed up that race from the beginning, getting thrown back and running off the track and getting with a group of guys. It was tough for me to make any moves but I finally got through a couple of those Yamahas and put my head down. I’m happy with what I learned. These Pirellis are such a different game, especially for a full race distance and we didn’t even get a full race distance as it was 14 laps. I put my fastest lap together toward the end when I had some clear track. Learned a lot and have some good progress made for tomorrow. I can ride a little better tomorrow for sure.”
The race was won by Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, the Turkish rider beating Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista by .657 of a second with Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK’s Jonathan Rea third, 2.3 seconds behind Bautista.
Razgatlioglu gained five points on Bautista in the World Championship point standings, but still trails the Spaniard by 54 points. Rea, who sits third in the title chase and started today’s race from pole position, is 71 points behind Bautista.