Race Preparation The Focus For Rea
Jonathan Rea ended the day fifth fastest overall after the opening day of competitive action for the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship at Phillip Island in Australia.
After two days of official tests earlier this week the main task for Rea was to find a good set-up for his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR and tyre solutions for the much higher track and air temperatures they faced today. Track temperatures almost reached 50°C in the afternoon session on Friday
A strong start in Free Practice One for Rea proved to be less so in the afternoon’s FP2, as he lost grip due to the hot track temperatures. Now Jonathan and his technical crew will collate and analyse the data they collected today and hope for lower asphalt temperatures when they face the first race of the new season, at 16.00 local time on Saturday 25 February.
The second day of WorldSBK action at Phillip Island will feature a 30 minute free practice session, then Tissot Superpole qualifying to determine grid positions for a 22-lap opening WorldSBK race, which is scheduled to start at 16.00 local time.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning I felt quite positive, to be honest. When I reviewed the first session I felt there or thereabouts; fighting for the podium positions. In the afternoon, with more heat on the track, from the very first lap I didn’t feel good grip. We have some small set-up issues, and we are not far away, but the main problem today was grip. We will put everything together, understand what happened and try to make a plan for Saturday and Race One. I would prefer cooler conditions for the race, as last year the tendency was that we struggled more in hot conditions. I want to forget this session a little bit and I would prefer a cooler race tomorrow. I don’t think the track is going to be like it was today (48°C) but it is still going to be very hot.”