After a weekend that started off under the shadow of his latest crash into another rider - Rinaldi at Estoril - Garrett Gerloff had to start race one and the Superpole race from the pitlane, and having crashed in Superpole and not set a time he was off the back off the grid in any case.
He came through strongly in each race but his best of fifth in race two, after starting from the third row, was another proper showcase for his undoubted talent. He pipped the struggling Alex Lowes for fifth at the end of Race Two, to salvage a positive finish from what could have been a minor disaster.
“I felt really good,” Gerloff told bikesportnews.com, “that’s the best the bike has felt all weekend, which is a really big positive for us. It’s for sure the best I’ve felt in the hot conditions, and that normally seems like where I struggle a bit, just with my riding style a bit. So it was really nice to kind of have the bike working really well. I felt like I was able to be a lot more consistent than the rest of the weekend. So it’s nice to end on a positive note.“
Normally not happy unless he is on the podium, Gerloff was hardly disappointed not to be there, given he had the pace of many of the leaders in each race, and was only held back by starting positions.
“Maybe disappointed a little bit, but maybe one per cent,” said Gerloff. “Honestly it was just nice to have a good weekend. It was difficult for sure. It was definitely difficult, but it’s nice to leave here without any drama and to go to the next race. I feel like I can fully reset everything. Like I said, we ended on a really good note with the bike setup and everything, so fifth place for me in Race Two, I’ll take it. We go to the next one now.”
That next one is Donington, where he has never been but where his old riding buddy in MotoAmerica, Cameron Baubier had his first ever WorldSBK experience a few years ago. All new for Gerloff, but only in a literal, not virtual sense, “No, I’ve never been there. But I’ve played it on video games my whole life, so I feel like I know it exactly.
I remember it because that’s where Cameron did his first World Superbike. I will ask him a little bit about that. I think Lez Pearson, my crew chief, has a friend, he used to work with him back in the day, Walker (Chris Walker, we presume…). He was a racer and he said maybe he can come because he lives 45 minutes away and can do the track walk with us and give me some tips, so that would be nice. It reminds me of American style, with the elevation changes. Probably most like Virginia, VIR. I’ve never been there to Donington, like I said, but it kind of reminds me of that.”
What Gerloff will not experience at Donington - probably - is the kind of 30°C and more heat that Misano generated all weekend, building up to the hottest day on Sunday - and in most people’s view, humid too. For Gerloff, the heat at Misano was more like his old normal.
“Most of the MotoAmerica races are in like 30 degrees, most of them,” he said. “There’s only Laguna and Road America are less than 25 degrees. Everything else is above 25. The US seems like it’s a lot hotter than here. Europe seems like it’s always cold to me. For me, it’s dry here. I looked at the weather yesterday for home and in Texas right now it’s like 34 degrees, but the humidity is 99 percent. So it feels like it’s 42. Yeah, it’s like Malaysia. So this feels like dry at Misano. If the wind is blowing, it feels amazing here. It feels perfect.”