22 May 2014
WSBK Donington: Rea: Honda title would be a dream come true!
New World Superbike Championship leader Jonathan Rea says winning the WSBK title with Honda would be a 'fairytale' for him.
Jonathan Rea says it would be 'a dream come true' if he was to go all the way to the World Superbike Championship title with Honda having risen to the top of the WSBK standings for the first time ahead of the Donington Park round.
The Ulsterman, who has competed with the Ten Kate Racing-run Honda team since his full-time WSBK debut in 2009, arrives for his home round of the 2014 season in fine form following a trio of consecutive wins at Assen and Imola.
It is a run of form that has seen him ascend to the top of the WSBK standings for the first time in his career and has raised hopes he can mount a challenge for the title. Indeed, though Rea admits his elevated position doesn't alter his approach to the race weekend, he did allow himself a moment to appreciate a small landmark in his career.
“I don't approach the weekend any differently - we have the same attitude to get the best out of the bike tomorrow and Saturday, then come Sunday we have done our work,” he told Crash.net. However, I did wake up on Monday morning before testing [at Imola] and I said to my wife 'bloody hell, I'm leading the world championship' and I had a little smile to myself.”
Reflecting on his decision to embark on a sixth season with Honda in WSBK, Rea says there has been a noticeable 'change in mentality' within the team in an effort to return the manufacturer to the front of the field again.
“We saw at the end of last year when I decided to stay with the team again, everyone was realistic we were behind and we needed to improve. It was the first time I had seen a change in mentality that we are pulling from the same side and we all want to make things better and we want to win.
“We have dug in, we have done more testing than any other team and we have changed things on the bike. In terms of electronics, we started again with another blank canvas, with a new electronic engineer and working closer with Cosworth, so it's been a big change in everything – technically and mentally. We are in a much better place.”
With this in mind, Rea says nothing would delight him more than to go all the way to the title with Honda, describing the idea of winning the championship with the manufacturer as a 'fairytale'.
“It really is early days so we are not looking too far ahead, but it would be the ultimate dream come true. It is what I have been working for all of my career. I am with Honda and I believed in the Honda way, so it would mean the world to me.
“I want to win badly and I want to win with these guys. That will be the fairytale, to work together for so long through the tough times, to bring the bike to a level where we can win and if we were to finish it off… well, I can already imagine the party!”
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