Former MotoAmerica Superbike rider and current GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team member Garrett Gerloff returned to action today at the Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit in Indonesia, and the Texan was fifth-fastest on the first day of the FIM Superbike World Championship event.
Despite the sweltering heat and questionable grip due to dirt on the recently resurfaced road course, Gerloff improved his pace dramatically in the afternoon’s Free Practice 2. He was 16th in the morning’s Free Practice 1, but he put his head down and finished day one with a final lap of 1:34.843, which was nearly four-and-a-half seconds faster that his FP1 time and fifth-fastest overall on the day.
“It’s awesome that there’s new asphalt on the track,” Gerloff said. “But today we had to make sure we stayed on the racing line to avoid crashing. In FP2, things went a lot better, but it was still tough to ride. Making a pass will be hard in the race, as you need to go on the dirty part of the track and, once you’re there, it’s so easy to fall. Tire choice is really difficult, and even the hardest compound is getting torn apart. I think, after Race 1, it will be more clear as to who made the right or the wrong choice.”
Gerloff will be back on track tomorrow, with Free Practice 3 at 8:30 a.m., then Tissot Superpole at 10:40, followed by Race 1 at 1:30 p.m. All times local.