The expectations were very different, but considering the position Johnny Rea was in, he can be satisfied with the outcome. The Brit may not have reached the podium in race one at Magny-Cours, but he now prefers to race with the mind of a numbers man, keeping the championship in mind. Fourth place behind Sykes is nevertheless positive.
“I think the race came down to strategies. In the first part of the race the bike was competitive, I tried to be patient and stick with Tom, given that he's my closest rival for the title. That's why I decided to come into the pits with him”.
In the garage you went for the intermediate.
“A pity, perhaps the only regret. I wasn't clear about asking for slicks because I wasn't sure I'd have the right confidence once back on track, while I thought that the intermediate could last longer. As soon as we got back out there, I was struggling and it was very easy to make mistakes.”
Fourth place is not exactly a bad result.
“I'm pleased with the result, because we've only lost a few points to Tom, my direct rival. Today's was a race in which to be cautious, rather than going on the attack and being aggressive”.
In the Kawasaki head to head, Tom Sykes comes out on top. Many points separate the pair, but he prefers to take things race by race.
“It was a very difficult race, some of the riders went for intermediates, others went for rain tyres. I went with the rain, seeing as I preferred to be cautious in the first laps. Chaz opted for intermediates and it paid off for him. I think it was a positive race, considering the pit-stop”.
After you stopped, you stepped it up a gear on the slicks.
“The lap times were great after the pit-stop. I felt good on the bike, but it was difficult to close the gap. We were able to reach the podium in these really tough conditions”.
How are you feeling ahead of Race 2?
“I hope the track's totally dry tomorrow, but if it's wet we have a good set-up anyway. The problem is finding the right setting when the weather's uncertain like today, although I'm sure we'll be prepared either way."