Jonathan Rea says ‘I really love the Yamaha’ despite ongoing struggles

Jonathan Rea admits ‘I really love’ the Yamaha R1 despite suffering a disappointing start to his 2024 WorldSBK campaign.

Jonathan Rea, Catalunya WorldSBK, 24 March
Jonathan Rea, Catalunya WorldSBK, 24 March

Jonathan Rea had to wait six races for his first points of the 2024 WorldSBK campaign, after another difficult round followed in Catalunya.

The six-time Superbike champion endured one of his worst weekends ever at Phillip Island as he left the Australian round scoreless and scratching his head due to the lack of performance shown. 

Catalunya was a better showing, however, Rea was still not as strong as expected.

To Rea’s defence, Race 1 ended in retirement on lap one due to a problem with his clutch, before finishing 13th in the Superpole Race.

But Rea managed to deliver a very good result in Race 2 as he moved up the order early on and kept his tyre wear under control.

Rea finished the final race of the weekend in eighth and will be eager to build on that at the next round in Assen, which is one of his best circuits.

Speaking about the progression in Catalunya, Rea said: “I really love the bike and the character and the engine is amazing but to be really fast on the bike is hard.

“The rate of progression and development has been very slow, much slower than expected and than necessary to make progress.

“We have to trust the process and trust that we can make it better.

“It’d be much worse if I came here and said that I’m doing everything, the bike is perfect etc, no; we have a lot of margin to improve, both my understanding of the bike but also the crew’s help and support of making it my bike.

“That’s why I’m not super disappointed about where we are; I have to be patient.

“We’ve had a lot of strange things happen this year; maybe the first test was the smoothest!”

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