Gerloff takes the fifth aboard his GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team YZF-R1. Photo courtesy of WorldSBK.

Rain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concluded the second and final day of the MOTUL FIM WorldSBK preseason test with defending champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) topping the timesheets. Razgatlioglu’s time was almost four-tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rival, and only two riders were able to drop their lap times into the 1:40 range.

Razgatlioglu completed a total of 33 laps on Saturday before the rain fell, and he posted a best lap time of 1:40.571 aboard his Yamaha YZF-R1. The triple-tuning-forks company continues to test their new electronics package, with the Yamaha riders also trying out a new exhaust system on Saturday morning.

Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) ended up second-fastest, and he was the only other rider besides Razgatlioglu to dip into the 1:40s. With a modified swingarm and new front suspension components on his Ducati Panigale V4 R, Bautista’s best time was a 1:40.952.

Honda’s Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) made it three different manufacturers in the top three as he finished in third place with a best lap time of 1:41.033.

Six-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was fourth-fastest on his ZX-10RR, six-tenths of a second back from Razgatlioglu after posting a best lap time of 1:41.168.

The top five was rounded out by former MotoAmerica Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff (GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as he continued to show strong off-season form. Gerloff was the last rider within a second of Yamaha stablemate Razgatlioglu’s time as he posted a fastest lap of 1:41.320, which put him fifth on the timesheets for the test.

“Day 1 here in Barcelona wasn’t the easiest as the track didn’t have much grip,” Gerloff said. “Anyway, we did a good job, and I’m glad the things we tried in Misano worked here, as well. We kept working on the electronics, and we made a step forward with that. I’m happy that we were able to try numerous parts and settings, and the race pace was good, as well. I had a small crash on the first day at Turn 10, but that didn’t stop us from getting everything done. On Day 2, we continued with our schedule, confirming the improvements we’ve made. Moreover, we could do some laps in the wet conditions, which was important because we needed the data. We’re in a good spot, and now I’m focused on the final test at MotorLand Aragòn.”

There were over 20 riders participating in the test at Catalunya as the start of the 2022 FIM Superbike World Championship draws closer. The final preseason test for Gerloff and his GRT GYTR Yamaha WorldSBK Team before the 2022 FIM World Superbike Championship season commences will be the official Aragòn test set for April 4 and 5, which will also host the opening round on April 8 through 10.

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