The third-year WorldSBK rider, as was the case in Misano, battled throughout the day for top spot in what was a renewed tussle with Ducati’s Alvaro Bautista. 

After leading at the midway point, Gerloff looked on course to claim overall honours before late efforts from Bautista and six-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea were enough to overhaul the Texan rider. 

Nevertheless, it was a ‘super positive’ day for the American despite a lack of grip that shocked the ex-MotoAmerica man. 

Gerloff added: "Yeah it was really good, really happy! Was really happy with all the changes we made in Misano and I can’t believe that they work here too. That’s super positive. 

"When we first started I was pretty shocked at how little grip we had, but it seems like it came better throughout the day. 

"The Yamaha R1 was working the whole time. I’ve got a smile on my face."

Like fellow Yamaha rider and current world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu, Gerloff has spent a considerable amount of time evaluating the Japanese manufacturer’s new electronics package during pre-season testing. 

And while this was again something he and the team focused on during the opening day in Barcelona, confirming the overall improvements from Misano was the 'biggest' aim.  

"For sure, every track we go to is a big electronics test, but the biggest thing we’re doing is confirming the stuff we like in Misano on a track with less grip," said Gerloff. 

"It will probably be similar at all the other tracks in the summer when it gets hotter. 

"The race pace was really good. We got around ten laps done and it felt good the whole time, it felt consistent. 

"Tyres dropped off a little bit but that’s the way I like it. That’s when it starts working for me."