WAMPUM, Pa. – Garrett Gerloff continues to hold the hot hand in the MotoAmerica EBC Brakes Superbike Series as the Texan led the way in practice Friday at the Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex.
Gerloff, who has won two of the last four races and finished second in the other two, was fast in both sessions on Friday, turning in a 1:41.387 in the first session and a 1:40.521, in the second. Gerloff, with his solid results of late combined with the miscues of both Toni Elias and Cameron Beaubier, has inserted himself into championship contention and sits 40 points behind Elias and six behind his teammate Beaubier going into this weekend’s two races at PittRace.
Gerloff ended up besting Beaubier by .292 of a second with those two the only riders to crack the 1:41 barrier. Beaubier earned pole position for last year’s race with a 1:39.937 in Superpole, using qualifying tires.
“We came into the session with half of the bike being totally different, but it was a setting that we’ve tried before, and it felt really good, especially compared with the first session,” Gerloff said after earning provisional pole position. “I feel really consistent and fast on both rear-tire compounds. This track is super-fun, the bike feels really stable, and I’m looking forward to Superpole and the race tomorrow. So far so good, and we’re going in the right direction.”
Third place was a surprise with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis fast all day, the Kentuckian ending up third with his 1:41.100 to lead the Yoshimura Suzuki’s of championship leader Toni Elias and Josh Herrin, the duo who split wins in last year’s two races.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Jake Gagne ended up sixth, ahead of Broaster Chicken/KWR Ducati’s Kyle Wyman and Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz. Attack Performance Estenson Racing Yamaha’s JD Beach and FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony rounded out the top 10 on the first day of action at PittRace.