18 February 2008
Q&A: Jonny Rea - EXCLUSIVE.
My team-mate Andrew is a really good guy; we've struck it off really well and have a good relationship both professionally and socially, so hopefully our rivalry will bring out the best in us both and drive the whole team forward.
As you say, with yourself, Tommy Hill, Chris Walker and Craig Jones, there's going to be a strong British contingent in WSS this season. Are you going to miss racing in front of British crowds all year do you think?
Yeah, sure I'm going to miss that, but equally I'm really excited about seeing the rest of the world and some of the really good circuits that the world championship races on. We'll come back to Brands Hatch and Donington Park though, and I think the Brands Hatch World Superbikes round is the biggest event for the circuit. It's going to be cool to ride in front of a sell-out crowd there as the support event for World Superbikes, and it's going to be even better for the British fans with myself, Jonesy, Tommy and Chris to support. It's only going to benefit me as well.
Do you think the fact you're going to be away so much will make it perhaps more special to come back and race in front of your home fans?
Yeah, I think so. I'm leaving a series where I was really happy – the championship was good, the teams were good, everything was good about it – but this year I'm just taking it to the next level, and to come back to what I've left behind is going to be quite special. For sure there will be a lot more friendly faces about and people that I know, and a lot more Ulster flags up in the crowd at Donington and Brands than there will be at Qatar. I can't wait to get back.
So laying your cards on the table now and looking to Qatar, have you set yourself any particular objectives for the opening round and, beyond that, the rest of the season?
Like all the names I mentioned earlier, my ambition is to win the championship. Historically looking at the Supersport championship, it's not about winning the first race or winning lots of races, because as I say a lot of the guys are like axe-murderers; they crash quite a lot, so I think it's important to get the scores on the board from race one and see where we end up. I'll be happy enough coming away from Qatar in a nice top five position, and then moving onto Phillip island and trying to build some momentum throughout the season.
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