Yamaha admit ‘we need to take responsibility’ after Jonathan Rea disaster

Yamaha claim it’s their responsibility to get Jonathan Rea back on-track after the six-time WorldSBK champion’s disastrous first weekend with the Japanese manufacturer.

Jonathan Rea, tyre change, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February
Jonathan Rea, tyre change, Australian WorldSBK, 24 February

Jonathan Rea suffered one of the worst WorldSBK weekends of his career at Phillip Island last.

Scoreless on Saturday after finishing Race 1 in 17th, Rea missed out on points in the Superpole Race as he finished tenth.

But Race 2 was where Rea’s disastrous weekend took another turn for the worse as he crashed out on lap three.

“Nobody could have imagined such a difficult start to Jonathan’s time with Yamaha,” said Yamaha Motor Europe’s Motorsport R&D and Road Racing Manager, Andrea Dosoli.

“Since the first laps in Phillip Island with the new asphalt, he did not have a good feeling with the bike and despite a lot of work from the crew, we did not see any progress with his feeling until Sunday. 

“The big crash on Tuesday didn’t help things, but I believe I am not wrong to say that the stress of the difficult start with a six-time world champion did not help the work of the crew either.  

On Sunday, when the feeling was better, he had another big crash which brought a very difficult weekend to the end, without doubt one of Jonathan’s worst weekends in WorldSBK.

“We need to take responsibility for this, as we did not give Jonathan what he needed in Phillip Island. 

“We have to learn from these difficulties and the mistakes made during the weekend. 

“Clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of bike set-up, but I think also in the working method.”

Dosoli also went on to state that the upcoming Barcelona test will be vital to getting what was expected to be a title-contending season, off and running on the right foot before round two in Catalunya.

Dosoli added: “The crew, supported by all of the Yamaha engineers, will work harder than ever to be better prepared for the upcoming test.

“We have two days in Barcelona to reset and get back on track so we can start our 2024 season properly for the Barcelona race. 

“Jonathan has all the talent and capability, we know the bike works, so we know that this can be a successful partnership.”

Dosoli wasn’t the only member of Yamaha to share his views regarding Rea’s debut, as team Principal of Prometeon Pata Yamaha, Paul Denning, admits they need to ‘reset’.

Denning said: “Whilst it was ultimately disappointing in terms of pure result for Jonathan – the steps taken in pace in the Superpole Race, finishing within five seconds of the winner and then showing his championship-winning aggression even after such a difficult weekend, by climbing from P11 to P5 and closing on the front group just demonstrated his determination to succeed.

“Obviously, we’re relieved that he got away with the Turn 11 crash and we’ll reset with JR at the Barcelona test and we’ll be looking for much better from here forward.”

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