Gerloff: ‘It kills me’ to miss out on WorldSBK podium, two P4s ‘feels epic’

Garrett Gerloff said he’s never been closer to a first WorldSBK podium with BMW than on Sunday at Portimao.
Garrett Gerloff, BMW WorldSBK Portimao 2023
Garrett Gerloff, BMW WorldSBK Portimao 2023

Like at Magny-Cours and Aragon, Gerloff flashed huge potential aboard the M 1000 RR and ended the weekend as the top BMW rider.

Gerloff, who scored two fourth place finishes, has also become the top BMW rider in the Superbike standings.

Just over a second away from the podium in Race 2, and only 2.8 seconds down on race winner Alvaro Bautista, Gerloff said: “I was so close to tasting the Prosecco! It kills me! 

“I feel really good with how the weekend went. Honestly, after Superpole and finishing on the fourth row, it’s not that I lost all hope, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. 

“Now, the midfield is so strong that if you don’t have a good Superpole and you get caught up in those battles, it’s so hard to move forward. 

“You sort of get sucked in like quicksand. I wasn’t as confident as I’d like to admit. The bike’s been feeling great all weekend. 

“We came here right away, and we were able to put it on P1 in FP1 and I felt really good, I just wasn’t able to put it together in Superpole which is an issue of mine and something I’d really like to continue to work on in testing. 

“To have two P4s feels epic. I wish I could’ve had a better Superpole and maybe, you never know, it would’ve been nice to get that podium. I want it so bad.”

After overtaking Andrea Locatelli for P4, Gerloff was able to slowly bring himself towards Rinaldi although he never got within reaching distance as the Ducati rider was also pushing to the limit to catch the two leaders.

“Michael was riding really well; just really fast laps and he was dragging both of us to Toprak and Alvaro,” added Gerloff. 

“I think they were fighting a little bit which didn’t help. I saw them coming towards us and I was thinking ‘there’s no way!’. 

“It just feels nice to just see first place and see the podium. We’ve been not as close as that. 

“Even in Race 1, I was still six seconds away from the podium and now to be able to reach out and almost grab it, it feels like a big improvement.”

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