Hot off his one-off MotoGP outing at Assen last weekend, GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff owned the day at Donington Park on Friday in England, the Texan leading the way with the fastest lap of the day set in the closing stages of FP2 despite it being his first visit to the British track.
“It’s funny to say, but I get a lot of U.S. vibes here,” Gerloff said. “Everyone speaks English, and this track reminds me of Road Atlanta, VIRginia International Raceway, and Pittsburgh back at home. Today was good, and I look forward to the rest of the weekend. I already feel like I have a really good bike, and the Yamaha R1 has historically always been fast around here, just like on most circuits. It’s nice to know that Les (Pearson, Chief Engineer) always has everything already planned and under control. Whenever I need any information, he already has everything ready. With me focused on learning the track, it is nice to know that he has all the adjustments set to go depending on my comments. I feel really good on the bike, so I just want to get through qualifying and go racing now. I was surprised at how little grip the track had in the heat of the afternoon, and my first run during FP2 was all over the place, but it seems like it might rain both tomorrow and Sunday, anyway. We have a good bike either way; we will see how it goes.”
Gerloff’s best lap came at the end of FP2, his 1:27.524 putting him at the top of the timesheets after two Friday sessions. Gerloff displaced six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea from the top spot with the Kawasaki factory rider failing to improve after leading the morning FP1 session. Rea’s best lap was a 1:27.841, .317 of a second off Gerloff’s fast lap in FP2.
Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatliogu ended the day third fastest, .524 of a second behind Gerloff with Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes and Aruba.it Ducati’s Scott Redding rounding out the top five on the first day at Donington.