WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea believes this weekend’s Imola round could be the place to swing the series momentum away from Alvaro Bautista and back in his favour.
The Kawasaki man has played second fiddle to Bautista’s Panigale V4R all season but the little Spaniard has only a morning’s worth of track time at the Italian circuit, so Rea intends to seize that opportunity.
“After four rounds we have understood and evaluated where we are and where we need to improve. So we approach Imola trying to make another step in terms of my riding and also the performance of the bike,” said Rea.
“The circuit is incredible and I love racing at Imola, because it is steeped in history and from a rider’s point of view it is a fun track to ride. It is very unique with a lot of undulations and you really need to feel at one with your bike to push on the limit there.
“I am very excited for FP1 just to understand our performance, if we can be competitive, which I am sure we can be. I will work with my team throughout Friday to give us a bike to compete.
“I see Imola as a track where we can be really competitive and last year we had a great season, so I feel like it is the time in my season where we can try to change the momentum of the championship. Imola gives us a good opportunity to do that.”