Rea adapting to "a completely different bike"

Friday, 23 March 2018 12:57 GMT

Jonathan Rea claimed top spot in Free Practice, whilst tackling a race simulation.

Reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is in confident mood for the remainder of the weekend in Thailand, at the second round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.  The Kawasaki Racing Team representative made steady progress throughout Friday practice sessions, climbing from eleventh position in his opening outings to fourth and then top by the end of FP3. 

Ominously for his rivals, though, Rea believes he can make further progress in Superpole and in race conditions: “I was very constant, not really fast, but at least constant to the end.  It was hard work in these conditions, after three sessions today – it was tough.  But anyway, I got through it, and at the end I felt pretty good”, he explains.  “It´s good information: from the start of a race distance to the end the times are really similar, but the bike´s behaving in a completely different way.  So, with the electronic set-up, different mappings I can change in the race, we can make some better changes.”

In the latter stages of FP3, Rea focused on long runs with a full race simulation, proving his fitness after a spell of illness and injury.  And having successfully completed his programme, with top spot in the timings for good measure, he is perfectly ready to adapt to his new 2018 machine in familiar surroundings: “It feels good.  Everyone´s so close!  I tried to ride the bike like I did last year, and with the final gearing and gearbox and rmp for this season it´s a completely different bike.  So this morning I just had to re-adjust my riding style, so the last two sessions we made some in-roads and I felt a lot better.  But there´s still a lot more to come.”