Garrett Gerloff, 2016 Supersport Champion - On The Record

Texan describes challenges he faced en route to winning his first MotoAmerica title

Garrett Gerloff NJMP race action
Garrett Gerloff was wearing the world's widest smile after winning the Supersport title on Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park. “To get the championship at the end of the year feels really great," he said, "even if it was really close.”Brian J. Nelson

I'm excited but I also can't believe it's over. You kind of expect another race weekend. It feels so good to finally put it all together.

I felt good the first few laps of the race. I was focused on JD Beach's rear wheel, seeing if I could make a pass. He started pulling a gap, and I had a bit of a moment.

That's when the championship went straight to the forefront of my mind. I thought, "What do I do?"

You can't let your pride get in the way. You want to win the race but the championship is more important.

I was trying to stay focused but it was incredibly difficult. I was lucky to put together decent laps and cross the finish line second.

The championship has been a dream of mine for so long. Sometimes, you want it so badly that it keeps you from getting it.

This year, I tried to focus on having fun and take it one corner at a time, one race at a time. I think that really helped.

Working on my head, trying to get it to calm down and shut up when I need to perform was a big key.

At Utah Motorsports Campus and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, I was more focused on trying not to lose. I should have been trying to win and have fun.

During the long summer break, I went back and tried to find the confidence I had at the beginning of the season.

It's hard to perform when your head is getting in the way of doing what you need to do. That's something I will need to work on next year.

I would like to defend the number-one plate, but I loved the Yamaha Superbike that I rode after the race here last year. It really lit a fire under me.

I was thinking, "This bike is amazing. I want to be on this thing. I want to race against Josh Hayes and Roger Hayden and Toni Elias."

I would like to ride a Superbike soon. That's not going to be the case, at least next year.

I'm really happy with the way this year went for me. I don't know what I'm doing next year. Hopefully, I will be back with Yamaha.

MotoAmerica is doing a great job. I think Wayne Rainey and everybody else is steering the championship in the right direction. Hopefully, it will continue to grow.

Fan attendance at New Jersey was amazing. There were people everywhere, and I think they had fun. That gets me excited about the future of road racing in the U.S.

I have a lot of family and friends here. To celebrate, I just want to be with them and let them know how much I love and appreciate them.