Rea: "I’m really happy with the pace"

Thursday, 2 November 2017 21:44 GMT

Strong opening day for Kawasaki Racing Team under the floodlights

Heading to a circuit he is yet to win around, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) ended day one on top with a strong opening day, whilst his team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) finished in the top three despite some engine issues.

Unlike all other riders on the timesheets, the Northern Irish rider set his fastest time in free practise one but was able to keep his spot at the top of the timing sheets with his impressive pace onboard his ZX-10RR. Heading out with a stunning pace from the opening session, his lap time of 1.57.666 put him over a quarter of a second ahead of the rest of the field. Happy with his pace, Rea notes how important Superpole sessions will be tomorrow as he looks at understanding a few small issues.”

“I really enjoy this race for numerous reasons, it’s really cool to come here, the circuit is nice, nice to ride under the lights. It’s a really fast and open circuit but our bike seems to be working more consistently, there are just a few areas we need to concentrate on tomorrow especially in the front of the bike but generally everything seems to be going well. But Superpole is going to be key, as there are many riders with a pretty similar lap time so it’s important to get a good track position tomorrow. I’m really happy with the pace but we just we’re able to go those few tenths quicker in FP2.”

Suffering with a cold on the other side of the garage, Tom Sykes endured a tough day around the Losail International Circuit as he missed a chunk of free practise following an engine issue which caused the red flags to be waved in FP2 under the night skies. Despite the setbacks facing Sykes this weekend, the British rider is feeling confident on board his ZX-10RR

“We could have done without the engine but we are happy enough. We started FP1 just figuring out the track, in session two I was finding my own pace and understanding the bike but we were just straight away improving the lap times. I was hoping to evaluate a couple of changes to the bike and fine tune it for the race but unfortunately we had a slight set back and the one bike rule was tough for us. I have had some good fights around here but this year we are going for glory, we need to give Chaz a run for his money and come out on top.”

Follow the Kawasaki Racing Team’s progress around the 5.3km circuit under the floodlights, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass with Superpole and Race One set to light up the track tomorrow.