Pole and the race win, Johnny Rea couldn't have asked for me. The Northern Irishman triumphs in Race 1, winning the final head to head with Chaz Davies. But the post-race interviews saw the two riders caught up in a debate about their respective bikes' top speed. Both sustaining that the other's bike is higher-performing. And this is just the first race of the season. One thing's certain - we're going to see some crackers!
You couldn't have wished for a better start?
“I'm pleased about how we've started the championship of course, but today's wasn't a simple race. Unfortunately we weren't used to these temperatures, a lot higher than yesterday but we decided against radically changing the setting”.
Was tyre consumption the biggest issue?
“Yes, especially in the final stages. At one point we were lapping in 1’33”, it was like a SuperSport race, given the times. The spectators will have enjoyed the race, but for me it was frustrating”.
Then there was the battle with Davies. Did you expect him to be so competitive?
“I know he could fight for the win. I admit that I was worried at a certain point. Along the straight, the Ducati is very competitive, something we also saw during testing. If we compare speeds, they're practically identical. So I realised it was time to attack and so I did”.
The gaps were contained once again today. Is that a characteristic of the track?
“I think so. As we know, this is a special track and along the straight you can gain a lot of time by using the slipstreams”.
Tomorrow we'll see the new inverted grid. You'll start ninth, what changes?
“It will be more exciting for the fans. I don't think it changes a lot for me, I'll set out to do my best, as always. Aside from that, those who are up front will fight for the win, just like today”.