WSBK Aragon: Rea happy with time, but not position

Though PATA Honda's Jonathan Rea hits his target in terms of lap time, he was hopeful it would have been enough for a WSBK front row in Spain.
Jonathan Rea says he is frustrated to be on the second row of the grid for the second round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship at Motorland Aragon despite being pleased with his lap time.

The PATA Honda rider came into Superpole as one of the favourites having topped three of the four preceding practice sessions.

However, SP2 would prove a harder challenge for Rea because though he managed turn in a quick lap time, the rapid overall pace meant it was only good enough to secure him fifth position on the grid.

Nonetheless, Rea is pleased to be quick around a circuit Honda have traditionally struggled at and is looking forward to the races with anticipation.

“I'm honestly quite happy as this is the fastest I've ever been around Aragon and we've made such a big step since last year. It was quite a perfect lap from me but we just didn't have the out-and-out speed with a qualifier in. While I'm satisfied with my lap time, I'm not with my position.

“Looking at the track condition this morning, I expected a 56s would be good for front row, but the pace is quite fast. We worked a lot on our option tyres this morning and checked them again this afternoon.

“We're still not seeing the high temperatures that we'd need to run the really soft tyre so tomorrow's going to be a big tyre decision. Whether the sun comes out and heats the track or not, I'm quite satisfied with the set-up we've got. We need to work a little more on engine braking tonight, but I just need to make a really good start from row two and try to go with the guys in front of me on the grid.”

Rea fared better than team-mate Leon Haslam, however, after he suffered a fairly spectacular accident during the opening stages of SP2. Unable to set a time, he will start 12th.

“The last three crashes I've had have spun the bike from under me on fast, third or fourth-gear corners, which is kind of frustrating. We started off on the back foot here but we've made progress every session and the bike felt pretty good this afternoon.

“I was on target for a 57s lap on a race tyre, which is in the ball park, but I'm lucky the bike didn't high-side me like it could've done. But this is something we definitely need to look into and solve for the future.

“My race pace is quite good, although tyre life is an issue for the cooler conditions, so we'll re-assess that in morning warm-up and decide which tyre to go with. As far as the chassis is concerned, and the progressions we made electronically before the crash, I'm quite happy.”

Tagged as: Honda

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