Mixed Fortunes For Rea At Mandalika
Jonathan Rea’s best finish in today’s WorldSBK action at the Mandalika International Street Circuit was fourth in the Superpole race. In WorldSBK race two Jonathan fell at T7 on lap eight while fighting for a top five placing.
In warm Sunday conditions at the Mandalika circuit, Rea start from the second row of the grid in the short ten lap Tissot- Superpole race. The race was red-flagged, after an incident that involved, Danilo Petrucci, Alex Lowes and Loris Baz after only two laps. It was subsequently re-started, over a distance of eight laps and Jonathan secured fourth.
In the second and final scheduled 22-lap race of the Mandalika weekend another red flag stoppage ended the action, albeit temporarily, after two riders collided and their bikes remained on the active track. In the re-start Rea was battling in a bunch for fifth place but fell mid way through the re-started race and was unable to continue.
After the long journey back to the team’s European base is complete the work will continue with two private tests sessions. WorldSBK returns to full race mode at the classic Assen TT circuit in the Netherlands, between 21-23 April 2023. Assen is Rea’s best circuit in terms of race wins, with no fewer than 17 victories to his credit, the most recent being two wins last season.
Jonathan Rea said “It has been a very difficult weekend, with not so many positives. We, step-by-step, found a better direction. The track here in Mandalika has been quite inconsistent from Friday, when the grip level was really low, but we understood on raceday that the grip level was incredibly high. So, we never nailed the set-up perfectly, but I felt that we got better. In the races I felt my rhythm was OK but unfortunately in the Superpole Race I found some traffic in front of me and it was very difficult to pass. But I felt my pace was quite good. In Race Two I lost the front. Not exactly quite sure why, but it is quite windy in that area. I think the wind just picked the front up. I am frustrated and I found it very difficult to pass anyone on acceleration or on the brakes. I was riding over my head sometimes on the brakes and in the corners trying to stay with the group. But, we have to accept this tough weekend, try to learn from it and then put it behind us when we head back to Europe. We will have much more information now. So even as we are disappointed, we need to keep our heads up and keep fighting. I feel Assen is a great track to come back to with some strong results.”