REA BACK ON THE PODIUM AT ASSEN
Jonathan Rea finished a strong second in today’s WorldSBK Race One at Assen, recording his second podium finish of the 2023 season in the process.
Benefitting from information gathered in recent private test sessions Jonathan took his Ninja ZX-10RR to second place in Race One, having held the lead for the first eight laps at one of his favourite circuits.
Rea had qualified second in Superpole, just missing out on pole position by 0.027 seconds. When fastest qualifier Alvaro Bautista (Ducati) received a penalty that dropped him to fourth place on the Race One grid (for slow riding on the racing line) Jonathan inherited pole position.
Rea is not, however, credited with the Superpole ‘win’ and he will start the Tissot Superpole race on Sunday from second position on the grid, now that Bautista has served his penalty.
Experiencing reduced grip from his front end in the second half of the intense opening race Rea could not fight back when Bautista went past, but Jonathan had enough pace to keep Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) behind him at the finish.
With the ten-lap Tissot Superpole ‘sprint’ race and the final full distance Race Two to come for the WorldSBK competitors on Sunday 23 April, Rea has now moved up to fourth place overall in the rankings.
Jonathan Rea said: “I am happy with the effort today. The rhythm was fast and when I was in front I was doing 1’34 laps. I could see the gap to the riders behind going 0.1, 02, 0.1, so I knew I was not shaking them at that rhythm. I knew Alvaro would come past sooner or later, as his rhythm was very fast on Friday. When he did I just dug in and tried to do everything I could, but with seven laps to go I made a small mistake and then there was a small gap that lost me the slipstream. I was taking so many liberties just to be there, but you can’t do it every lap. I was losing a lot with my front tyre at the end, even on the harder front option. But we got solid points and I felt like we had some positives from that race.”