Mixed Results For Rea On Day Two At Catalunya
It was a difficult final day of WorldSBK racing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya KRT for Jonathan Rea with a DNF and a fifth place. In the 10-lap Tissot Superpole race Jonathan crashed out of the race on the last lap whilst challenging for a podium place. Starting from the fourth row in WorldSBK race two he moved up to finish fifth behind KRT team mate Alex Lowes.
At the home circuit for the bulk of KRT’s staff the final two WorldSBK races took place in much cooler conditions than the opening day of racing on Saturday, when track temperatures approached 50°C.
In the first Sunday race, the 10-lap Tissot Superpole ‘Sprint’, everyone took to the track on slick tyres. During the race light rain started to fall and thus the group chasing eventual winner Alvaro Bautista closed up, as certain parts of the track started to get slightly wet, allowing the more confident riders to make attacks on their rivals.
Rea took a great initial advantage of the changing conditions by moving into second place, but he was to fall at the first corner of the last lap. His front tyre just touched the white line on the edge of the braking zone as eventual second placed finisher Toprak Razgatlioglu attempted to draw alongside and pass him.
After his Superpole Race misfortune Rea started Race Two from the fourth row of the grid, in tenth place. He had to fight hard to make up places in the race, eventually finishing 1.4 seconds behind Lowes, in fifth place.
After scoring a third place in Race One and then fifth in Race Two, Rea is fourth in the overall championship fight, with 100 points to his credit.
The next round of the WorldSBK Championship will take place at the ever-popular Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, between 2-4 June. Before that there will be a two day Misano test for KRT and almost all of their main rivals, between 11 and 12 May.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I touched the white line and crashed in the Superpole Race. When Toprak came past, I felt it was quite close and he was not aiming at the corner but aiming towards me to open up the line. He gave me space - but at 320kmph there was wind buffeting that knocked me around a little bit. I was wide, caressed the white line and that was enough to put me down. I was really frustrated because it was a complete knock-on effect for Race Two. Starting from tenth place on the fourth row, I had to clear traffic in the beginning. The Honda guys in the first laps were buzzing around, attacking me as I was attacking them. Then Locatelli - he was really good in some areas of the track, especially the last sector. Everywhere else I was able to catch him. But in doing so I was abusing my tyre a little bit. When I had clear track towards Alex and Toprak I thought the race was going to come to me and I would catch them. But they just kept going and I feel like I had experienced too much tyre consumption in those early laps. Although I could not catch Alex and Toprak it is encouraging that Alex had such a good race as well. We were able to compete for podiums here. So, not the weekend we dreamed of, but I think it ended up better than expectations after Friday’s practice sessions.”