WorldSBK Most: ‘I had to give in and let them go’ - Rea

| | WorldSBK
Picture: GeeBee Images

No WorldSBK race win for Jonathan Rea since Estoril, but the mixture of his skills and experience, allied to a bike that he and his team know so well, means that he still came away from a difficult track for him in 2021 with two Sunday podiums.

He said it was all a great improvement on last year, so he was as satisfied as he could be without actually taking a wins home. Especially in raxce two.

“I just feel we’re getting everything out of the package,” he said. “You can’t see the mistakes, but when I make a tiny mistake, miss an apex or just lose some time, it’s really difficult to recover.

“With Alvaro and also Toprak, we’re really struggling with engine management and wheelie control, exiting all these first-gear corners. So, exiting the first corner I was just losing ground. If I do everything perfect – brake, acceleration, lean angle – I can just be there, but it’s so difficult to do this every lap consistently.

“So, we need some assistance in this area to make it more easy to manage. Because the gap Alvaro would take from me on the start line, and then also the exit of T1, the effort I made through six, seven, eight, nine, I would be there in ten. I would be there with a heart rate of 310 beats a minute.

“I was so in stress, because the risk you’re taking to be there. So, it was a difficult race. Then I’d spend a little bit of the lap to recover, just to do it all over again, and again, and again. So, it was a difficult race that way. I didn’t make so many mistakes.

“I had to ‘give in’ at the end and let them guys go and just finish my race. Like I said, much better than last year, so I think we can take a lot of positives out of it.”

So is this the worst circuit for the Kawasaki?

“I’m expecting another challenging weekend. There’s one round that I’m not really looking forward to, but the rest I think we can be strong, or stronger than the rest. When I sat down and thought about the championship, thought about the rounds we have the points to win the championship, with three guys battling.

“I feel good with what we’ve done at the halfway point. We’re reflecting. We’re there. Very close. Three guys battling. Of course, everybody has their day. I had three strong weekends at the start of the year.

The last three have been more of a challenge, but everyone can talk always about the last race but I try to think about the big picture, reset. Magny-Cours is very good. Portimao is very good. I think Barcelona can be good. So, let’s see.”

Alvaro Bautista ran on into T1 at one stage, coming back onto the track, but it was Razgatlioglu who was the main force in the final race, with a pace none of his rivals could match.

Regarding Bautista’s error, Rea said, “I didn’t think he was penalised too much. He pretty much rejoined right behind me again, after making a big mistake. But, I felt Toprak slower in the beginning, in this middle part of the race.

“Then when I went past, I think Bautista also went past, and Bautista went past me, I think then Toprak was able to turn the switch and go. When he made the pass on Alvaro, he did a very good lap. Not to allow Alvaro to repass in the straight. From there, his pace was relentless. So, he did a really good race management, really good job. So, props to him.”

Next up for Rea is the Suzuka Eight-Hours race, which he was heading to right after the Most weekend.