Jonathan Rea has dedicated his return to the top step of the World Superbike Championship podium to his team manager Ronald ten Kate following a successful day at Brno.
A dramatic turnaround for both rider and team just two weeks on from a disastrous weekend in Misano, Rea was in stunning form during race one - despite the pre-race distraction of needing the toilet - as he quickly assumed the lead of the race and romped home to an easy win.
His third success of the season, although he couldn't make it a double in race two as Max Biaggi
stepped up his pace, Rea was thrilled to once again be riding out front following a period of difficulty on the bike.
Poignantly, the win comes as team manager ten Kate is absent this weekend to tend to his ill father, with Rea duly dedicated his triumph to him.
“In race one I honestly felt that someone up there was watching out for me because it was like I couldn't do anything wrong! But it felt great to win and dedicate it to my team manager, Ronald ten Kate, who couldn't be here this weekend because his father is very ill.
“It was a weird start to that race, because as I sat on the grid the only thing I could think about was how badly I needed to go to the toilet!
“As soon as the race started I went to the front instead and just kept it smooth for the remaining 19 laps. It felt so nice to win a race again – I'd kind of forgotten what that felt like.
“Race two wasn't so bad and fair play to Max (Biaggi), who rode really well. I tried to fight but I had nothing left in the tyre, which just didn't feel the same as the one I had in race one. However, we worked much better as a team this weekend and made really good changes during the practice and qualifying sessions.
Despite the win, which moves Rea back up to third in the standings, the Northern Irishman admits the bike continues to behave different from race-to-race. Despite that, he is confident he has found his form again ahead of the Suzuka 8 Hours and his home event at Silverstone.
“Our bike is difficult to take from track to track, but we definitely got the best out of it this weekend. Now I'm off to Japan for the Suzuka 8 Hour, but I'm looking forward to getting back in front of my home fans in three weeks at Silverstone.”