Garrett Gerloff was sixth in the first of two World Superbike races on Saturday in the Czech Republic. File photo courtesy of GRT Yamaha.

GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff finished a fighting sixth in today’s race one of the Tissot Czech round of the World Superbike Championship, the Texan just .449 of a second from fourth place.

Gerloff started the race from fifth on the grid but fell back to 10th in the early laps. Gerloff, however, got faster as the race wore on and moved into sixth on the 14th of 22 laps. From there he made inroads to the two in front of him but came up just .164 of a second from fifth-placed Axel Bassani and .449 of a second from fourth-placed Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

The race was won by Toprak Razgatlioglu on his Pata Yamaha with the Turk passing race-long leader Scott Redding on the final lap. Third place went Razgatlioglu’s teammate Andrea Locatelli.

Razgatlioglu gained 25 points on World Championship points leader Jonathan Rea with the Kawasaki rider crashing out of the battle for second place, remounting and then crashing again while running 11th.

Rea now leads Razgatlioglu by 12 points, 243-231. Redding is third with 182 points. The battle for fourth in the championship is led by Kawasaki’s Alex Lowes by six over Rinaldi with Gerloff another nine points behind in sixth.