REA DOMINATES FIRST DAY
The fifth round of the WorldSBK championship began in strong fashion for the Jonathan Rea as he posted the fastest lap of the day. The predicted summer heatwave conditions did not quite show up at Donington Park, on day one of the action at least, but the early pace Rea put in proved to be red-hot. He is already under the race lap record with his 1’27.016 pace, which he set in FP2. He was more than half a second ahead of the next best rider, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha).
Air and track temperatures are expected to increase all weekend so the team and Jonathan factored that probability into their pre-race preparations. This task was aided by useful data gathered from a recent high temperature test conducted at Motorland Aragon.
After the first two practice sessions on Friday a final FP3 session, Superpole Qualifying and then a full distance Race One at 14.00 UK time, on Saturday 16th July.
Jonathan Rea said: “You can never just take a screenshot of the final lap times and understand all the stories. Everybody was on a different strategy today, trying to understand what’s what. But we did good work and we were able to analyse all the tyre options. Both front tyres and all the rears. Unlike Misano, where there were two extra solutions over the weekend, and it confused everything, I feel we have a handle on at least the tyres. In the morning I was really struggling with the front over the bumps, so we changed the weight balance of the bike, the wheelbase. In the beginning of the second session I was able to understand quite quickly the pros and cons of the changes.”