Jonathan Rea: “Frustrating, but it's clear the R1 can be competitive”

"JR, Yamaha and the team are a million miles away from satisfied with those results"

Jonathan Rea, 2024 Misano WorldSBK
Jonathan Rea, 2024 Misano WorldSBK

Having miraculously escaped Saturday’s huge opening lap crash with a sore wrist, Jonathan Rea was able to 'grind out' eighth and tenth place finishes for Yamaha in Sunday’s Misano WorldSBK races.

“Obviously a really disappointing weekend but I also have to feel very fortunate that I got away with that crash yesterday, because it was a huge one and aside from having a pretty sore left wrist and hand, physically on the bike I was not so bad,” Rea said.

Starting just 15th on the grid, the highlight of Rea’s weekend was the opening laps of the Superpole race, where he climbed rapidly up the order.

But once into eighth he progressed no further, with his best race lap 1.2s from race winner Toprak Razgatlioglu and 0.4s from team-mate Andrea Locatelli.

Outright performance was again lacking in Race 2, where the six-time world champion set the 13th fastest lap - 1.631s from Razgatlioglu, 0.6s slower than Locatelli - on his way to tenth.

“I made good starts today in both races... But I just struggled to really get down to business when the tyre was fresh," Rea said.

“The race [2] came to me a little bit better at the end when the tyre was moving, but I couldn’t get the best out of the bike at the beginning and didn’t have the confidence.

“The current performance level is frustrating, but it's clear that the R1 can be competitive so we need to find a way to translate my feeling to adapt and make changes that help me to get the best out of this package.”

Locatelli was the leading Yamaha in all three Misano races, finishing 4th, 4th and 5th respectively. Rea was four seconds from the Italian at the end of the Superpole encounter but some 15 seconds adrift of Locatelli in the full-length Race 2.

“On JR’s side it’s a positive that he was even able to ride today,” said team principal Paul Denning. “His left hand is swollen and very painful – so to grind out two top-ten results has to be seen as a positive based on what could have happened in such a major accident yesterday.”

Nonetheless: “Clearly, JR, Yamaha and the team are a million miles away from satisfied with those results: so now it’s time to breathe a little bit, for JR to get back to full fitness and to go step-by-step towards producing the speed that we all know he and the R1 are capable of.”

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