Five-time World Champion Jonathan Rea reacts to his battle with eventual Race 1 winner Scott Redding
MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship fans had to wait for the second Round of the season but they were in for a treat when racing did resume with the Pirelli Spanish Round as reigning Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battled with rookie Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto.
Rea had jumped into the lead from the start of the race and held it during the early stages, with Redding having dropped down to third behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team). Redding fought his way back from third, first passing Razgatlioglu before a block pass on Rea forced the five-time Champion wide at Turn 6. Redding would go on to hold the lead for the rest of the race while Rea finished second.
Discussing the day, including Tissot Superpole, Rea said: “It’s been pretty positive actually. It started with a good Superpole, but I made a stupid mistake in Turn 6, my foot came off the peg. To get second was really good. I made a holeshot in the race. I didn’t really have a plan for the race, to be honest. I knew my pace was going to be there or there abouts to stay at the front but also there’s a lot of other riders looking strong.
“I used my rhythm; I could see it was enough to pull Toprak and Scott away from the rest of the group and we had a small group. Just kept the rhythm strong. I think with 6 or 7 to go Scott came through, and at that point I tried to retaliate… he was making some mistakes, but he was stronger in in some areas of the track and me the opposite. It was really, really hard to mount a challenge and I felt he was a little bit stronger at the end. The package was a little bit more rear tyre, I was really struggling with my front tyre. I already had a warning at Turn 2 with my front tyre falling, I decided to fight for my second position at that point as it would’ve been too much risk to go for the front.”
With a 20-lap race under his belt, Rea will be looking to go one more step in tomorrow’s Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 with the tweaks he wants to make to the bike and they could be crucial in determining the outcome of the two races as the riders up and down the paddock look to do battle again.
You can follow the Pirelli Spanish Round using the WorldSBK VideoPass!