Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) – what Sandro Cortese could not do in his rookie season, the American apparently managed with his left hand. Although most of the tracks were new to him, Gerloff made it onto the podium several times in the second half of the year (© WorldSBK).

Garrett Gerloff and how he’s preparing for the 2021 season

Together with Michael Ruben Rinaldi, the Texan was the absolutely positive surprise of the first Corona season. However, he had a resinous start to the season, which Sandro Cortese was not entirely innocent of. The Berkheimer had sent Gerloff to the hospital with a rather clumsy and above all unnecessary maneuver on Sunday morning when he had brought him down in the warm-up. But when the season really started after the forced Corona break, the Yamaha rider got better and better on the all new tracks in the old continent. Towards the end of the season he was sensationally strong and was constantly fighting for the podium. Now the US boy is starting to prepare for the second season, for which he offered an insight, combined with his impressions of the last few months.

Photographed by us on February 29, 2020 in Phillip Island (Australia) – Garrett Gerloff in qualifying for the first race of the season, which began very changeably for him.

Gerloff at the end of the 2020 season

“I returned to the USA in December”, stated Gerloff. “Basically, I just like being at home, I had missed my family and friends a lot since the summer and just wanted to go back and see everyone again. Christmas was just around the corner all of this was my biggest motivation to come home instead of staying in Europe for the winter. I stayed in Barcelona for quite a while after we finished the season and tested. I trained a lot in Spain before coming, but I knew that staying away from all of my family would not have been best for my mental fitness.”

Gerloff behind Loris Baz (both Yamaha) in Magny-Cours, when the American overdid it too much in turn 7 in the first race on Saturday and flew off violently. The day after, however, he was already back in the top ten (© WorldSBK).

How the Yamaha Hope spent the winter

The 25-year-old spent time with two coaches in winter, depending on Gerloff’s location at the time. In Europe, he trained with Aleix Santacreu, who is responsible for MotoGP star Maverick Viñales. In the USA he works with the trainer whom he had already trusted during his time in MotoAmerica. When preparations for the 2021 season began, Gerloff was driving two and four wheels on a local kart track and taking part in a Supercross event in his home state of Texas to watch the championship kick off in America.

Garrett Gerloff (left in the picture) in a lively conversation with his team and brand colleagues Toprak Razgaglioglu (left of him), as well as Michael van der Mark (at BMW as of 2021) and next to him Federico Caricasulo, the returnee to the WorldSSP 600 (© WorldSBK).

Garrett Gerloff on his preparation for the 2021 season

„Aleix Santacreu is a really great trainer, and I was lucky enough to be part of his training group. I’m really looking forward to going back to Europe and working with him again before the new season starts. I’ve had a wonderful coach here for five years, he trains “The Texans” – the American football team. He also works with many bodybuilders and other athletes from various sports. My training program this winter wasn’t much different from in the past, but of course with the necessary precautions regarding Corona.”

Garrett Gerloff has also been known to MotoGP fans since Valencia 2020 at the latest, when he drove Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha M1 for one day on Friday. In the morning he was there as a complete newbie on the track, the other tires and bike faster than Crutchlow, Mir and Quartararo (© MotoGP).

How do you go on before a Europe starts the new season?
Gerloff:I’ve done a lot of things here and also tried to enjoy being back home for a long time. It was really fun going to the supercross races. I stayed in one place downtown with a couple of my friends. The race was great. I also did a bit of karting and driving my Yamaha R3 on the track which was fun. I’ve also ridden the Yamaha YZ250 on my local motocross track. As you should understand, most of my life revolves around engines and four, or better still, two wheels. I was mostly on two wheels, but otherwise it was just good to relax again in between.

Doug Polen (Ducati 888) – the 1991 world champion as a privateer and 1992 in the service of the Ducati factory team. For more about him and his years see our detailed history. Quite a few trust Gerloff to achieve similar feats, like the second man from the USA after Fred Merkel (Honda), who won the title twice in a row in the Superbike World Championship (© WorldSBK).

The provisional and unfinished WorldSBK calendar

In addition to the opening lap in Assen, the overseas races are of course still on the brink due to the corona pandemic. There are still some changes to be expected, and double races are also conceivable, as in the previous year.