There's no doubt that he has an extra gear in Thailand, his five race wins over the last three years only confirm this. Johnny Rea is keen to get back on top at Chang after the difficulties experienced in Australia last month. The Kawasaki rider has taken care of every detail, aware that the Asian track suits the ZX-10RR.
The Northern Irish rider is therefore feeling confident: “Thailand is a very different circuit to Phillip Island but is a more conventional type of circuit. The circuit itself is a compromise of long straights where you need good top end power, and slower, flowing, sections that require a good chassis balance when it comes to setting up the bike. I’m very excited about the race because it is a track I enjoy and had some successes at in the past."
Johnny is setting his sights on the highest step of the rostrum: “Although I didn’t start the season in the best way, with an injury and sickness, these last weeks I’ve been working hard to arrive at 100% in Buriram. I now have very strong motivation to have a competitive weekend and we will be aiming for the top step.”
Rea will nevertheless have to deal with loose cannon Sykes, the only man who's been able to beat him at the track, in race 2 in 2016: “We were really happy with round one in Australia. I was very impressed with the bike as we had a fantastic set up. Chang is a very different track to Phillip Island and that is what gives us confidence."
Tom is ready to make a killing: “Thailand’s layout has a much more European feel compared to Phillip Island. The new rules for 2018 make for quite a big difference in the engine but we have moved the power to have more torque and more bottom end out of the turns. I won’t be any more keen to win Superpole in Thailand than I would be normally, but it would be good to get one more and put my name at the top of the all-time list.”