‘Anti-Chaz bike’ powers Rea to Phillip Island double

Jonathan Rea reveals he made specific changes to his Kawasaki ZX-10R to fend off late-braking attacks from Chaz Davies, bike only at 85-90 percent of its potential.
Jonathan Rea has revealed he and his crew modified his Kawasaki ZX-10R into an 'anti-Chaz bike' so that he could successfully fend off the Ducati man's inevitable late braking attacks to secure a composed double World Superbike victory in Phillip Island.

The Northern Irishman was in peerless form as he rose to head a spectacular eight-rider train at the crucial time in race two, passing Davies on the final lap and watching on as the Welshman launched his second final lap assault in as many days.

Unlike race one however, Davies moved by at turn four 'when there was no space', and tucked the front as he attempted to square the corner off. It was a move Rea had anticipated and set-up changes, which gave him greater strength while braking, lured the Welshman in.

“It's incredible,” began the reigning world champion, who leaves Australia with a maximum 50-point haul. “Going into the last lap I knew Chaz would make a move somewhere. It was a copybook story from yesterday.

“My team gave me a bit of a different bike today, a bike on which I was more confident on the brakes. That was growing from Chaz and his moves, like an anti-Chaz bike. When he would make them big manoeuvres I would have something to fight back with. I knew today if he was going to out-brake me he wasn't going to stop. When I saw the big red Ducati in T4 I was still patient.

“He came through when there was no space. He went completely wide and unfortunately for him he made a mistake. The set-up changes we made between yesterday and today, they gave me a bike that was easier to ride and I was more ready for attacks, not just in T4 but in many areas. I thank my team for that. We played the strategy game here in Phillip Island and it really paid off.

Rea attempted to jump from his pursuers on several occasions in race one, but decided on a more patient approach on Sunday, knowing he had the pace to stretch the pack in the final laps. Composed and measured throughout, Rea's second race approach was executed perfectly.

“Today I couldn't go away. That was the plan. I said, 'Be more patient than yesterday.' Even when Tom pulled off I didn't want to clean the air so van der Mark came through and I was happy with that.

“The only reason I put my head down with five to go was not to go clear myself, but to thin the group out. If there was a last lap battle there would be one guy to fight and not five. That kind of worked because I saw Chaz was very close on the last lap, van der Mark just off the back.”

A double win that ensures Rea leaves Phillip Island with a 14-point championship lead was a perfect start for Kawasaki's new ZX-10R, a machine that the Northern Irishman ominously declared is still only at '85 to 90 percent potential.'

“I feel like we're working at about 85-90 percent potential of the bike,” he added. “I'm really proud to give Kawasaki these two wins. It's the first time with the new bike. We hear so much noise about other people having new bikes. This is a new chassis, new bike, new engine. A big change from last year, which is how we attacked the winter. We had so many components to analyse.

“Finally to get here just shows the strength of Kawasaki and the strength of the team behind me. There are so many people involved behind the scenes that have got the bike here. I'm just so grateful to be involved with a factory like Kawasaki.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rea, race 2, Australian WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Davies,Thai WSBK 2017
Rea, WSS race, Thai WSBK 2017
Rea, WSS race, Thai WSBK 2017
Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Sykes, Jonathan Rea and Melandri, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Torres and Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Torres and Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Torres and Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Torres, Davies and Hayden, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017
Torres and Davies, WSBK race2,Thai WSBK 2017

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February 28, 2016 10:58 AM

Proof if needed that there is no easy time following Rea as Chaz took his braking to the extreme but props to Chaz for keeping at least one hand on his sldiing bike in turn aiding a quick recovery and a decent 10th place. Well done to Rea and I don't mind seeing the same rider take win after win if they're having to battle that hard for them. Another storming WSBK race weekend - may there be many more this year.


February 28, 2016 5:16 PM

Judging by these two races there are likely to be many more terrific battles even if PI is a track that usually throws them up. But it's ominous that Tom Sykes once more looks as if he has lost whatever it was that took him to the championship - if not the bike. Looks like we were all wide of the mark in assuming that the Honda was past its sell-by date. No surprises that MvdM was so competitive but considering that these were his first WSB races Hayden was impressive even if he did knock out the front tire in race 1. Apart from question marks over the MVs' reliability it looks as though we have a full set of competitive manufacturers and riders!

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