#GBRWorldSBK World Superbikes, Donington – Friday roundup
The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s opening day of action saw Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) hit the headlines by stunning on his debut at Donington Park for the Prosecco DOC UK Round. He was fastest on a blissfully sunny Friday afternoon, enough to put him on top overall with a 1’27.524, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK).
It was an Independent on top on Friday in the UK as Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) improved significantly throughout the opening day of action to go top on an SCX tyre in the closing stages. An irrepressible Gerloff topped every single sector around the Donington Park circuit, as he made his debut at the British venue. Impressively going about his business at a brand new circuit and less than a week after a solid substitute performance at the Dutch GP in MotoGP™, Gerloff hopes to continue his form into Saturday and Sunday. On the other side of the garage, it was a nightmare for Kohta Nozane, who was ruled unfit following his Navarra testing crash which left him with a fractured middle finger on his right hand.
The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK duo of Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes enjoyed a positive session, as both riders hit the ground running right from the start of the session. Both riders were running 1-2 in the session in the opening 20 minutes as they continued their work at their home round. Rea was super consistent throughout the opening day and ended the day in second place, whilst Lowes was also in fine form in the afternoon to finish fourth, leaving him on the combined.
The factory Yamaha charge was led by Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), as he celebrated a new Yamaha Motor Europe contract that was announced prior to the first track action of the day. Despite a massive moment in the opening moments of the session, he was able to continue on his way and cement his position in the leading positions in third, putting in a long run in his second stint. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was impressive and was as high as fourth in the afternoon session before finishing eleventh overall.