Jonathan Rea says he’s content with a double podium at Assen having felt he maximised the potential with his factory Kawasaki ZX-10RR despite losing further ground to Alvaro Bautista in the World Superbike championship.

After Rea was unable to catch Bautista in the opening race at Assen, hampered by his eighth place grid slot after being caught out by a red flag in qualifying, the reigning World Superbike champion had to settle for a 10th consecutive runner-up spot behind the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider.

Having bolted to a perfect start in race two, climbing into third place by the first corner before diving into the lead later on during the opening lap, Rea attempted to dictate the pace at the front to disrupt Bautista’s rhythm.

But his plan lasted just six laps as the Spanish rider found a way past, before his Ducati team-mate Chaz Davies also dived ahead, forcing Rea into a battle for position. Despite recovering to second, the Kawasaki rider lost out to local favourite Michael van der Mark in a final-lap tussle crossing the line just 0.018s behind.

Rea, who sees the championship deficit to Bautista swell to 53 points after the fourth round, says he relished the Assen action and accepts his double podium as his best results with his current Kawasaki package.

“I really feel like we maximised our potential with the bike this weekend,” Rea said. “I felt good with the bike and we were stronger in some sectors and weaker in others compared to Alvaro. Even in the cold conditions I felt like the grip level was really, really good but at the end when the tyres were dropping, I lost a lot of grip. The bike became more physical to ride.

“Apart from that I was very impressed with the potential of the tyres and I was able to run quite consistently in the start to middle of the second race. I am pretty content.

 “I felt good in the fight and my team gave me a good bike to fight with and keep the gap quite stable for a while. I enjoyed today and it was like good old Superbike, two long races in one day.

“I feel like the only difference today was that I had a shorter time to take lunch and prepare for race two. But it was not anything extraordinary.”

 

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