A stellar maiden FIM Superbike World Championship marked GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Garrett Gerloff as one-to-watch in 2021. The American racked up three podium finishes in the latter stages of last season, and while many riders remained in Europe over the winter to train, Gerloff returned back across the Atlantic to reset and be best-prepared ahead of the upcoming campaign.
After the season finished, Gerloff remained at his European base just outside of Barcelona, returning to work for one last time in 2020 for the post-season WorldSBK test, before heading to his hometown in Texas to spend the next couple of months gearing down with family and friends.
“I went back to the US in December,” Gerloff said. “I just enjoy being home, I missed my family, my friends, and so I just wanted to get back and see everybody. Christmas was coming up and yeah all of those were my biggest motivations to come home, rather than to stay in Europe over the winter.
“I did stay in Barcelona for quite a while after we finished with the season and testing. I trained a lot in Spain before I came, but I knew it wouldn’t have been the best thing for my mental fitness to stay there away from all my family.”
When the 25-year-old stays in Europe, he works with trainer Aleix Santacreu, who’s trained with the likes of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Maverick Viñales, but now he’s in the United States, Gerloff’s been back working with his trainer from his MotoAmerica career.
“Aleix Santacreu is a really great trainer and I was lucky enough to be a part of the group,” Gerloff said. “I’m actually really excited to get back to Europe and working with him again before the new season starts.
“I’ve had a really good trainer over here for the past five years now, he does the training for The Texans – the American football team – and he also works with a lot of bodybuilders and other athletes from different sports. I haven’t been able to see him as much as I used to, but I’m keeping on top of things over here.
“To be honest, I’ve never really been a big gym guy in the first place, so my training regime this winter hasn’t really been too much different to how it’s been in the past. A lot of things are almost ‘normal’ again where I am I guess, in terms of things being open, but of course I’m taking precautions.”
Alongside this, Gerloff has been enjoying as much track time as possible, while he also attended the AMA Supercross Championship opener in Houston, Texas, in January and has raced on both two wheels and four at his local karting track.
“I’ve been doing a bunch of things here to be honest, just trying to enjoy being over here for the most part,” Gerloff said. “Going to the Supercross races was really fun, I went with a few of my friends, staying in a place downtown, the racing was great. I’ve been doing a bit of Karting as well and riding my Yamaha R3 at the track, which has been fun.
“I also rode at my local motocross track with the Yamaha YZ250, so as you can probably tell, most of my life revolves around some kind of motorcycle. I’m always on two wheels, but outside of that it’s just been good to relax, not much else has been going on.”
Gerloff is now preparing to return to Europe as he builds up to the 2021 season, where he’s due to be back in action for the Misano test on 15/16 March on board his Yamaha R1 bike.
“When I come over to Europe, I’ll probably be straight back to Andorra, which is where I live out there, but I’ll be training again pretty quickly. Before the season starts, I’ll try to get in as much as possible: riding my bicycle, the YZ450 and riding some Flat Track, Motocross, and doing pretty much everything I was doing before. Then, we’ll be in Misano for the first test of 2021, where we’ll hopefully be able to see how competitive we are ahead of the season.”