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Jerez WorldSBK test: 'Small things' add up to a better R1 for Gerloff

Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) got the chance to compare his new bike and his 2019 machine at the Jerez WorldSBK test today, and set the fastest test time of all so far in the process.

In the 2020 season, those with the latest R1 (not Gerloff, who ran the 2019 model) said that the engine was the main area of improvement, especially in the midrange.

“It was good in the end. The bike feels great - both of them – the 2019 I started on and the 2020 that I rode all day. They both felt awesome. We made some changes and they felt even better. It was nice to feel like we were going on an upward trajectory," said Gerloff.


“At first it felt like that but then I did another back-to-back; it’s hard to say. But I think the engine is really strong, just like the other bike that I was riding.

"For me there is nothing that really stands out, as like ‘Oh, this is the 2020’ it is just a lot of little things that I don’t really notice, but they add up. But it is nothing like ‘Oh wow, this is it, this is what it is'."

When asked if it would be difficult to find a big step anyway, considering where the performance of his podium capable bike was in his rookie season, Gerloff said: “Both of the bikes are pretty similar – the 19 to the 20. The bodywork is different and it is the 2020 engine which is a little bit better, in the streetbike also.

"It is just small stuff. But I just felt really good, really comfortable on the bike and the couple of changes we made, made it even better.”

Gerloff even had a crash to finish off what was an otherwise strong first day of Jerez testing – with one more day on Wedneday. “I was done for the day – I was on my cool-down lap,” said Gerloff.

“I touched the kerb in T11, and crashed. One corner way from entering the pits. I feel like a dumbass as well - because I am a dumbass. Besides that everything else was good.

"For sure it was better that we ended on top and then that happen, than finishing in sixth or seventh or eight and then that happened. That would have been worse for sure.”

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