Cortese: "I’m still facing a steep learning curve"

Thursday, 29 November 2018 11:32 GMT

German rookie begins WorldSBK experience

Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto held a lot of importance for Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha Team), as it was his debut on an 1000cc machine whilst he prepares to make the step up into the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.

Taking to the track for the first time on Monday morning, the 2018 WorldSSP champion was able to get used to the power of the YZF-R1 and understand if he needs to alter his riding style. Ending day one over two seconds behind fastest man Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), Cortese as able to improve his speed over the two days and ended with a lap time of 1.40.592, which was 1.879 seconds behind Rea – who ended on top.

Working hard on breaking, corner entry and the speed on the exit, the German was unable to compare the R1 and R6, especially with the level of power. It wasn’t only the power on his bike that changed, but Cortese also commented on his diet and weight. In WorldSSP he had to keep his weight down, but now making the step up means he can change his diet plan and training.

Relaxing throughout the two days, after beginning the test feeling tense on his R1, Cortese explained: "I am really pleased with my first WorldSBK test with the new team and with the Yamaha YZF-R1. It was a special experience for me because I've never raced a superbike before, but I think we made a big step over these two days and I now have a much better understanding of how to race this bike. Of course, I'm still facing a steep learning curve, and I also need to prepare my body for the demands of racing this bigger bike, as I can feel it wasn't ready after two full days on track here! Now I understand how I have to work with this bike and I am really looking forward to returning to Jerez with the team in January."