The Jerez tests gave us a lot of things to analyse, such as the new Honda CBR of Bautista and Haslam or the supremacy of Jonathan Rea who did less than a quarter of the number of laps than the others and who was fastest in the two-day SBK test.
Protagonist in the two days of testing was also Yamaha who with Razgatlioglu was at the top of the timesheets before Rea went out on track. Staying with Yamaha, there is also a new face around these days, that of Garrett Gerloff, a rider ‘Made in the USA’, 24 years old and coming from MotoAmerica and who on the first day of testing finished third with his R1 of the GRT team.
Hi Garrett, welcome to Europe.
"Thank you very much, it was a little difficult at the start but then I found where to live, who to train with and now everything is going much better".
You started really well, your time on the first day was very good. Did you expect to be so fast with the R1 already?
“On the first day there was a lot of rain and in the wet maybe not all the teams played their cards, but that's okay, it was a positive day. I think I have good potential, but I have to work. "
You said that the track was wet here at Jerez, would you prefer it to be hotter and drier?
"Yes, it would be good to lap in the dry, I could try some new things and understand the current level of me and the bike."
Remembering the past, it is always special when an American rider arrives in the SBK World Championship. We remember in particular heroes like Nicky Hayden…
“I don't know how you are living it here in Europe but in the United States they are all very happy to have a rider in the world championship. I want to race with the best and, one day, to be one of them, I am very ambitious and motivated. Let’s not forget also about Ben Spies, who is a friend of mine."
Did he give you any advice on how to tackle this experience in SBK?
"He gave me a big hand in deciding and in getting here and a few tips on the circuits that I will have to face, but he told me that the important thing this season will be to stay focused."
Do you see yourself in any of these great heroes of American motorcycling?
“Among these heroes there is also the president of MotoAmerica, Wayne Rainey and another great rider: Colin Edwards. I feel different, they are my heroes. I watched them race, realize their dreams and win. But one day I would like to be among these names".
You come from MotoAmerica, how was the impact with an international team like the Yamaha GRT.
"It is the first time for me in an international team and I must say that everyone has been very nice and helpful. I didn’t expect this, but it made me very happy."
From a technical point of view, what do you expect from this season?
"The R1 is a great bike, we are working to adapt to each other especially regarding smoothness in corners, but I think the biggest changes for me are the tyres and the tracks."
Do you like European tracks? They are a little different from those where MotoAmerica races.
“It’s a different style, I really like it here. The tracks are smoother and for my bike it is definitely good."
What’s the atmosphere like in Europe surrounding these races?
“Here there are a lot of fans who follow us and who appreciate our work and the show we put on. The atmosphere that you get in Spain or Italy during the races pushes you to do better and better. In the United States there is a lot of passion but as it’s a very large country, fans don't always come to the races, so I'm very happy to be here."
Is it already possible to set a goal for the season?
"I have my goals and I also have some dreams for this season, but I don't think it's time yet. Now what I'm thinking about is being a better rider than yesterday and continuing like this”.
Do you have any passion besides motorcycling?
“My life is motorcycling, and I don't have any hobbies off the track. For me, there is only motorcycling and the people around me. Maybe when I get older, I will be passionate about some other sport."
Who is your favourite rider?
“Marquez, without a doubt. What he does on the bike and the way he does it, his mentality and consistency are incredible."