WorldSBK: Garrett Gerloff Continues Strong WSBK Form to Top a Wet Friday.
Garrett Gerloff has continued his strong WSBK form off the back of his first podium in Catalunya, topping the overall timings on a wet Magny-Cours Friday. Both practice sessions at the French venue were held in wet conditions and, although the track never dried throughout the day, the fastest times were set in the afternoon session.
The first free practice session began slowly as the riders struggled to gather confidence in the wet conditions. The usual suspects stood at the top of the pile, but it was Jonathan Rea who stormed clear of the chasing pack, setting the fastest time of a 1:49.356, Rea also maintained his number one spot at the front for the first 15 minutes of free practice two, building upon his morning session.
Entering the final 20 minutes of the day, Go Eleven Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi found form and displaced Rea from the top of the charts with a time of 1:50.122.
Rea snatched back the top spot with the first sub 1:50 lap of the session, yet still not quicker than the morning session, with his final fastest lap effort of 1:48.991s, Rea appeared to have done enough to seal Friday practice honours on a weekend he could seal the deal on a sixth world title.
But Gerloff launched in a last gasp effort managed to clinch top spot with a solid 1:48.830s moments after the chequered flag was dropped, ending the day the quickest of all. Rea stayed second just 0.015s down on the Junior Yamaha rider, while Rinaldi finished third, being the only other rider to dip into the 1:48s as the session concluded.
Alex Lowes’ woes continued, only managing tenth on the other ZX10-RR struggling once again after an impressive start to the 2020 WorldSBK campaign.
Ten Kate Yamaha’s Loris Baz was the second Yamaha in the top five, with Gerloff topping the session and the Frenchman at his home round finishing in fourth. BMW rider Tom Sykes lived up to the optimism aboard the German bike running as high as second in free practice two, but his time of 1:49.717 was demoted quickly down to sixth following a bombardment of quick laps in the latter stages of the session.
Aruba.it’s Scott Redding, who remains Rea’s closest challenger in the title, 51 points adrift, finished seventh, more than a second down on both Gerloff and title rival Rea. Redding, who usually has good form in the wet, scoring podiums in MotoGP, appeared to struggle all session compared to Rinaldi, but team-mate Chaz Davies shared Redding’s struggles with the Gloustershire rider ending the session in seventh and the Welshman in 11th.
|3||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||16||1’48.914||0.084||0.069||145.799|
|10||60||Michael van der Mark||Yamaha||19||1’50.467||1.637||0.445||143.749|
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