REA FOURTH AFTER FIRST JEREZ RACE
Jonathan Rea finished fourth in WorldSBK race one at Circuito de Jerez today and in doing so confirmed his third place overall in the 2023 FIM Superbike World Championship.
After a challenging day on Friday for Rea where cold and damp conditions limited his track time, he improved his lap time and overall position on the timing sheets during FP3. His time of 1m 40.332 placed him sixth in the standings.
Superpole Qualifying was a typically tight affair. JR posted a lap time of 1m 38.907 which was good enough to put him on the front of the second row of the grid in P4, 0.27s from pole position.
Eventual race winner and new World Champion Alvaro Bautista led across the start/finish line on lap one, and on each subsequent lap to the finish. Rea and team mate Alex Lowes were in second and third places respectively on the first lap, but would gradually lose pace and places as the laps were ticked off.
Rea had to give way in his fight for the podium places at half race distance, but kept himself ahead of two riders closing in behind to secure a valuable fourth place.
Sunday will feature the final two WorldSBK races of the 12-round long season itself. The ten-lap Tissot Superpole Race will be followed by a full 20-lap WorldSBK Race, at the same 14.00 CET start time as Saturday’s race.
Jonathan Rea said: “I think the Superpole result gave us more optimism than reality, to be honest, so perhaps the first laps of the race got everyone excited. But the target for me was top five. Of course I wanted a podium; that was the ambition. When I was fourth I could see Locatelli and ‘I thought that this is not bad from where we came from on day one.’ The track has not been in great shape all weekend, to be honest, so comparing things with data we had before was irrelevant. Going with the SC0 rear tyre was a big move because no-one else was using it. I used it for one lap in the morning and it transformed the bike. It felt more normal and felt it was the best option. We needed to consolidate third place in the World Championship and that’s done now, so we need to think more about tomorrow.”