The first-ever FIM Superbike World Championship race at the new Mandalika International Circuit was postponed till tomorrow because a sudden but persistent rain shower brought all Saturday activities to a halt just before the start of Race 1. Both feature-length races will, therefore, be run on Sunday.
For GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team rider Garrett Gerloff, the day had begun in a promising way, with the former MotoAmerica Superbike rider and race winner yet again scoring the third-fastest time, in Free Practice 3. The Texan then enjoyed a solid Tissot Superpole session (1’33.545), which gave him the fourth spot on the starting grid for Race 1. Tomorrow, he will try to capitalize on his starting position to end the season on a high note.
“Superpole went pretty well today,” commented Gerloff. “I was quite happy to qualify in the first two rows, and that was also thanks to a bit of a different strategy that we chose to try to keep my rhythm up. It seemed to work, so that was positive. Then, just when we were about to get ready for the start of the race, some really dark clouds came over the track and, as soon as I left the pits for the sighting lap, it started pouring down like crazy. There was so much water that the start had to be delayed, and in the end they decided to cancel the race. No problem, I am happy to run both long races tomorrow. It will be difficult because of the heat and the humidity, but I am from Texas, and we have a lot of heat and humidity there too. I am pretty used to it, so I will do the best that I can.”
Given the postponement of Race 1, tomorrow’s schedule has been changed. After the usual Morning Warm Up, Gerloff will race a total of 42 laps between Race 1 and 2, with the first one at 11 a.m. and the second at 3 p.m., local time, whereas the Tissot Superpole Race will not take place.