Crash.Net WSBK News
‘Average weekend’ as Rea salvages top five
2 July 2012
Jonathan Rea says a sole fifth place finish is a scant reward for his efforts at Motorland Aragon after seeing his hopes of closing the gap to Max Biaggi in the overall standings scuppered by a costly race one crash.
Having fought an uphill battle all weekend as he got to grips with the Spanish circuit for the first time, Rea nonetheless impressed to qualify on the second row in sixth position, but his efforts were undone early in race one when he became tangled with Jakub Smrz at the first turn.
Despite remounting, Rea couldn't get himself back into the top fifteen and was forced to settle for an unsatisfying 16th at the chequered flag.
“It's been a tough day really, and I didn't need what happened in race one when two riders came together at the start into turn one and I went down. I got back up and the bike was fit to go again so I thought it would be good to get some experience for race two for bike set-up.”
Enjoying better fortunes in race two, though Rea lost ground initially with a poor start that left him ninth, his more durable Honda was able to get to the front of the chasing pack for a solid fifth place finish.
“We made some changes between the races and that enabled me to challenge a bit better at the front. At the beginning of the race the pace was OK for me but a few guys started to stretch and I couldn't go with them. I belonged in the second group today, but I was fit to get back in to them and make some passes.
“The guys had set my bike up a little bit better for grip so, when the tyres went off, I seemed to have more grip than the others. I made my way back past and tried to get a bit of a gap for the last lap and finished fifth.”
A frustrating weekend all round, Rea has now slipped 65.5 points off Max Biaggi in the overall standings, and is also now behind BMW's Marco Melandri.
“For me it's like an average result, especially here where we were prepared to take that. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth after I was a victim in race one. But anyway, everyone gets their fair share, and I'm looking forward now to the rest of the races. It's nice to get out of here with at least some pace and after 50% of the race I was able to match the leading group but, while we can take positives, it's been an average weekend.”