REA THIRD IN THE POINTS AFTER ROUND ONE
Jonathan Rea had mixed fortunes in the two Sunday WorldSBK races at Phillip Island, with no repeat of Saturday’s podium finish.
Rea was seventh in the Superpole race but a potential top four finish in Race Two became eighth place as he lost rear grip compared to some of his rivals. He used all his experience to try to maintain his track position until the end of all 22 laps, but he went from fourth on lap 16 to eighth by the end.
Despite a relatively tough Sunday, Rea leaves Phillip Island third in the championship fight, with 31 points. Rea extended his record total of WorldSBK race starts to 380 at the end of the weekend, after overhauling Aussie legend Troy Corser’s previous record in Race One on Saturday
Now the WorldSBK paddock heads directly to another popular WorldSBK race venue, Mandalika, on the island of Lombok, in Indonesia for the second round of the championship between 3-5 March.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It was a difficult weekend and a bit of a mixed bag. We have got to take some positives because we have been fast in certain areas but consistently not good enough. We really struggled with set-up and some factors out there. In the Superpole race I was not fast enough, but I was faster than the group I was in. Dominique Aegerter came in at T4 and almost took me to the gravel. So I had to rebuild my race. It is hard to put it all together to understand where we fell short. But it was clear today in the long second race that we did not nail the set-up. We were miles off at the end of the race, even after looking after my tyres, using short lines, doing everything in my experience to manage the race and we were still nowhere. We dropped off a cliff at the end and it is is really frustrating. We need to have a bit of a look in the mirror and try to understand why we struggled so much. I don’t expect this to be our benchmark for the rest of the season. We can do much better, but the bike set-up wasn’t working today, not like normal. So hopefully we can just understand why, put that aside, and start again from zero at Mandalika for the next round.”