WorldSBK king Jonathan Rea and the KRT team will start tomorrow’s Suzuka Eight-Hours from second on the grid after final qualifying was cancelled due to rain and says the key to winning is to minimise mistakes.
The squad - which also stars Leon Haslam and Toprak Razgatlioglu - are just behind favourites and champions Yamaha in terms of pace and won’t want to repeat some of the 2018 errors which saw Rea caught out in the rain on a slicks and the resulting crash.
“We are really happy with our preparations although it was an unfortunate situation that we did not get any riding done today because of the weather conditions,” said Rea.
But, that means that we keep the second position that we secured yesterday. We are in a great starting place and we feel ready. Obviously, endurance races are long so we just need to minimise our mistakes, be consistent and see what happens.
“Now we will discuss strategy for the race and what will be, will be. There is a lot of support here for the team, Kawasaki and us so we will be doing our best to get a good result.”
Crew chief Pere Riba added: “During the test on Wednesday we worked on the points that we had identified that we needed to improve during our previous tests.
We found a good base and then in the qualifying session it was very positive because all three riders set good lap times, very close to the fastest.
“The most important thing to confirm was a good set-up for all three riders, and they all showed good pace. We have found a base set-up that seems better than last year, with a more consistent race rhythm rather than a fast one-lap pace. The race will decide everything now but in terms of our preparation I am quite happy.”