POLE AND PODIUM FOR REA AT ARAGON
Jonathan Rea produced another committed performance to secure third place in the opening 18-lap race of the Motorland Aragon weekend, having earlier secured pole position with a new track record lap.
Saturday started in a very positive way for Jonathan as he took his 42nd Superpole qualifying award in WorldSBK, with an all-time best lap for Motorland Aragon of 1m 47.937. This made him the first and only rider in WorldSBK to break into the 1’47 bracket.
Rea fought for the lead throughout the race crossing the start/finish line in first place for eight laps. Early leader Alvaro Bautista fell from the lead of the race early on, when Jonathan was in third place behind Toprak Razgatlioglu. Razgatlioglu slotted into first place but on the next lap Rea overtook the Yamaha rider to take the lead.
In the latter part of the race, however, Jonathan simply ran out of enough traction from both front and rear tyres to be able to hold the lead as first Michael Ruben Rinaldi and then Razgatlioglu passed before the chequered flag leaving Rea to settle for third.
Jonathan Rea said: “Even in the first laps I felt really under control and it was, in fact, easy to sit behind Alvaro. That was when our bike has grip, like this morning when you saw in Superpole that the lap time was incredible. Even losing the time we did in sector four I could do what I wanted with the bike. After nine laps it started to become more difficult and I could see the gap to Toprak was staying around 0.1, 0.2 on the pitboard. I just tried to keep my focus and not make mistakes. Then Rinaldi passed me and I knew that he was coming with good pace. As soon as he passed me I could see in the next corner exit that he had so much grip. I knew it would be close to impossible to fight. Toprak came past pretty quickly after. I gritted my teeth and tried to stay there. I was taking tenths in some areas, but over the lap he was just a bit better. We ran into grip problems front and rear. But we got a third place, and I should be really happy, because it continues our podium form. I have been super-happy with thirds in the past but today I am a bit disappointed because I expected a bit more.”