Garrett Gerloff hits reset as he looks to bounce back for 2022 WorldSBK

Garrett Gerloff returns to testing action at Aragon as he looks to put the pressures of the 2021 WorldSBK season behind him on the GRT Yamaha

Garrett Gerloff - GRT Yamaha

Garrett Gerloff says he has been working hard on ‘mental training’ during the WorldSBK Championship off-season as he returned to action for his first test ahead of the 2022 season.

The highly-rated American is preparing for his third season on the international stage with a view to recovering the pace that saw him competing among the front runners during the early portion of the 2021 WorldSBK season.

After an eye-catching turn in his rookie season of 2020, Gerloff was rewarded with a factory-spec Yamaha R1 for his sophomore campaign in GRT, a boost that helped him to two podiums during the opening few rounds.

However, already being called out for aggressive racing following incidents with Jonathan Rea at Aragon and Michael Ruben Rinaldi at Estoril, Gerloff was then involved in a controversial clash with stablemate Toprak Razgatlioglu at Assen that forced the would-be champion out of the race.

Leading to a backlash on social media and a cool reception from Yamaha itself, a contrite Gerloff was noticeably affected by the response and his form suffered as a result.

As such, Gerloff - speaking at his first test of the year in Aragon - says he has hit the reset button with a view to returning to form

“It has been a long off season, four months off the bike and for a long time I have been focusing on improving myself in every aspect I can think of - physical, mental training, social aspect - so I think I am in a good place. I am glad the off season is behind us.”

Having upgraded his Brembo brakes for 2022, Gerloff was only 0.074secs shy of 2021 title-winning team-mate Toprak Razgatlioglu.

"I have had a big smile on my face since yesterday and it was nice to have a dry day. We have tried a bunch of new stuff so we just need to ride as much as possible.

“Last year I was using the 2020 Brembo brakes but now I am on the 2021 parts like everyone else. I did it for preference last year but for the performance it is something I needed to change. It has taken some time to get used to it but I feel pretty good with them.”