Difficult First Day For Rea At Phillip Island.

Pata Prometeon Yamaha rider Jonathan Rea finally took to the track at Phillip Island in Australia today, with a rescheduled one-day Official Test ahead of the opening round of the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship this coming weekend. 


After a long and tense wait for Pirelli’s shipment of tyres to be delivered, the test eventually took place over a single day with two four-hour long Free Practice sessions available.


Recent asphalt resurfacing of the coastal venue has created challenging conditions for all teams and riders. While higher grip levels allowed the ability to set faster lap times than ever before, the key focus was to work on race tyre management and set-up for the circuit’s long left-hand corners in preparation for the two 22-lap main races on Saturday and Sunday. 


Rea’s running programme was reduced following a high-side crash at Turn 11 just prior to the lunch break – and after completing 33 laps in the morning, he was 12th overall with a fastest lap time of 1'29.988. The Northern Irishman suffered painful bruising to his left knee and some nasty abrasions but returned to the track to complete a further 31 laps and finished the day in an unrepresentative 15th place on the timesheets. 


With two full days of recovery before track action resumes with Free Practice on Friday morning, Rea is confident of a 100% return ready for Round 1 of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship this weekend from 23-25 February. 


Jonathan Rea – 1'29.966

“It’s been a difficult day – I feel comfortable on the R1, but really pushing on the limit and understanding how to push the bike to the maximum is still coming. The outright pace at the front is incredibly fast, so when you go chasing that ultimate lap time it can feel a million miles away but to be honest, the rhythm for me is not actually too far when we put everything together. Step-by-step, the plan is to just work with the guys over the next couple of days to understand how to ride the R1 in the best way possible around here and also get the set-up a bit closer to what I need, and I believe we will be more competitive come the weekend. I have a lot of bruising from the crash early this afternoon, but we have a few days rest now before Friday and I expect by the weekend I will be 100%.”