Points on board but no victory challenge for Rea

Having taken a popular victory at Imola in 2011, Honda's Jonathan Rea is unable to challenge the leaders at the same circuit just a few months later.
Jonathan Rea admits he is leaving Imola with mixed feelings as the satisfaction of taking a top five finish a day after his mammoth qualifying crash was tempered by a failure to match the results at the same circuit last season.

After a solid start to the season in Australia, Rea was keen to get his title challenge underway in Italy with a repeat of the performance that saw him reign victorious during last year's Imola round.

However, though the Ulsterman believes his pace is just as quick as it was when he was the dominant force last year, the improvements of his rivals left him mired in the chasing pack throughout the weekend.

Compounded by a huge high-side in qualifying that left him battered and bruised, Rea soldiered on but could only manage ninth in race one due to an incorrect tyre choice. Finishing fifth in race two, despite a high-speed trip across the gravel at Villeneuve, Rea was pleased with his performance, but had hoped for better results.

“Well, it finished better than it started, for sure,” he said. “In the first race, we flat-out picked the wrong tyre – we didn't do so much work on the hard tyre in the practices so we were reluctant to go with it. Also, this was the first big temperature change we'd had and it got very cold. But it's been a bit of a frustrating weekend, to be honest, because our pace here last year was good enough for a win.

“Our pace this year is the same but there's two or three guys at the front going faster. All in all, I'm happy to have points on the board in both races, and I'm really pleased with the way I rode in race two. I got messed up with my rhythm in the first laps when some guys put me out at the chicane, but I got my head down and got back to the group and I was able to get to the front of them comfortably at the end.

Nonetheless, with Assen - where Rea has won three of the last four races – looming, the Honda rider is hoping the upcoming test will help him get on terms with the leaders.

“I'm happy with my riding and happy that we have a test here tomorrow and then a two-day test at Assen to try and find the front feeling that I've been lacking.”

Tagged as: Honda , Imola , Jonathan Rea

Related Pictures

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Rea, Imola WSBK Race 2 2012
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Rea, Imola WSBK Race 1 2012
Rea, Imola WSBK 2012
Rea, Imola WSBK 2012
Rea, Imola WSBK Race 1 2012
Stefan Bradl, Honda, World Superbikes [Credit: Honda WSBK]
Nicky Hayden, Suzuka 8 Hours, MuSASHI RT HARC-PRO Honda
Sykes, Rea, Davies, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Sykes, Rea, Davies, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Giugliano, Sykes, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Giugliano, Sykes, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Sykes, Giugliano, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK, 2016.
Rea, Sykes, Giugliano, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.

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rc212v - Unregistered

April 01, 2012 8:10 PM

The guy is capable of winning the championship, shame Honda don't provide him a proper machinery. I think he stays with them only because they're feeding him with some future MotoGP plan


April 02, 2012 4:34 AM

Hindsight is 20/20 and all but you have to say staying with Honda doesn't look like it was a good move at this point. Rea is so much better than what he can show on the Honda. You have to ask the question - is it the actual bike or has Ten Kate just lost their way the last few years? After JT's title Ten Kate superbikes have been a mixed bag. They've had some very capable riders that just can't seem to put it together on the Honda.

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