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WorldSBK Aragon: Gerloff proves himself despite Rea interface

Finishing the first weekend of the season as top Independent rider may be a success in relative terms but in absolute terms Garrett Gerloff wanted more - even after securing a podium finish in the ten lap Superpole race.

And he could have had it were it not for his own mistake early in race two when he lost the front under braking and ran Jonathan Rea off track. They both recovered, Rea for second and Gerloff for an impressive seventh in what were again tricky conditions.

Gerloff, full of contrition, said afterwards, “The Superpole race was good and it was nice to be on the podium but for sure, ever since the second race, I’m just really frustrated with myself.”


He issued a full apology to his rival. “Also, just want to say I’m sorry to the whole Kawasaki team and Jonathan, because that definitely wasn’t my intention what happened. My intention was not to try to pass, I just went up to brake with Jonathan but he was braking a little bit more than I was going to brake and I tried to grab the brake as hard as I could but I just wan’t stopping.

The options were shrinking and shrinking on what to do and my option was to try to go up the inside and release the brake before he does and not have any contact. But it didn’t happen. It was my fault and I am just really feel bad about that. I was glad I was able to talk with him and everything. I got back on the bike as quick as I could.”

Getting going again was a major bonus for Gerloff, as he scored strong points in any case. He was event be top independedn finisher in that race, not just overall at the end of the day. “The bike never turned off, which is awesome, and I tried to clear my head and just ride. Luckily everything was working good, just had a bit of a bent bar. The bike crashed really well and I was able to keep going. I was not expecting to be the best independent but that was nice. A little bit of a recovery but it was frustrating because I felt I could have been fighting for the podium for sure.”

With a factory bike and pretty much factory support for 2021, despite being in the GRT Junior Team still, Gerloff looks to be top three all the time now, after his great rookie season in 2020.

“The Superpole race podium was good but I expect more or less that every weekend. I have an awesome bike and a great team, and I have the same stuff as the guys that was on the podium yesterday. There is no excuse. It was nice to come back and be on the podium but in the end one podium here was definitely better than last year. The results in general were slightly better.”

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