Jonathan Rea: “Baby steps” not enough, “I need something I can fight with”

Jonathan Rea says he needs something “that I can fight with” as issues aboard R1 Yamaha continue.

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

A difficult 2024 WorldSBK season continued for Jonathan Rea at Misano last weekend, with the six-time world champion failing to record anything better than a P8 finish.

A huge crash in Race 1 saw Rea get away with a lucky escape, before the former Kawasaki rider bounced back with eighth in the Superpole Race.

On the backfoot heading into qualifying, Rea’s struggles continued which led to him admitted “baby steps” aren’t enough.

“From my side it’s frustrating, because since I jumped on the bike, I feel like we’ve made baby steps…I need something that I can fight with,2 said Rea.

“It was nice at the Misano test, being fast over one lap, but we just didn’t start off with that same momentum.

“I don’t want to doubt myself, but it’s hard to see where the way forward is coming. No excuses. We weren’t fast enough this weekend…there’s no excuse for being subpar.”

“Hard to push one when I’m not fully confident”

In pre-season testing Rea looked fast, assured and with a clear idea of how he wanted to ride the r1.

But as soon as he arrived at Phillip Island for testing and then the season-opener, things have not been the same for the Superbike legend.

Assen (round 3) was a step forward but Rea and Yamaha have failed to kick on since, leaving the 37-year-old frustrated.

“Let’s not kid ourselves…Assen was a chaotic race,” began Rea. “The long and the short of it is that when I jumped on the R1 in the Winter Test, it felt great…but we haven’t kicked on.

“It’s really, really hard to push when I’m not fully confident. It's a frustrating time for sure.

“I need to forget the podium and expectations, because that’s where pressures come from.

“The next target is to understand this bike and to really put a lot of pressure on the guys to give me what I need to be fast. It’s frustrating when we’re not addressing problems.”

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