World Superbike is not yet at the half-way point but Johnny Rea can already count on a 60-point lead over his rivals, or rather Tom Sykes. Davies meanwhile is 84 points behind. Compared to last year, the Welshman has double the number of points to make up. The crashes at Aragon and Chang weigh heavily, as does the electrical problem of two weeks ago at Assen. With such an obvious gap, we ask ourselves whether the championship isn't already a done deal. We spoke with Ernesto Marinelli of Ducati and Guim Roda of Kawasaki.
The Ducati project manager got straight to the point: “The world championship is never decided – he stated - only maths can establish that. After 21 years of racing, I never take anything for granted in this championship – he added - many things can happen, so we don't give up and we will never give up, fighting in every race to score as many points as possible. I think the road is still long”.
His opinion mirrors that of the Kawasaki team manager: “I don't think so – commented Roda – you only need a crash or a technical stop to change how the standings look. It would be a big mistake to think that things are already wrapped up – he continued - we'll let others believe that”. Roda is aware that the step forward has exceeded expectations: “It's better to be ahead with a significant lead rather than chasing– he concluded - but anything can happen on a race weekend. At Imola Chaz proved to be very fast, it won't be easy to beat him”.
There are those who see it differently though. Yes, because for Pieter Breddels in Honda, a man like Rea doesn't hide anything: “It's almost impossible to stop a rider like Johnny – revealed the technical manager - we know him very well, as he raced with us for several years. We're pleased for him, less so for the championship, in that there is always the risk that the public lose interest”. The competition doesn't appear to be able to match the Cannibal's pace: “If Chaz were closer each weekend, it would be a more exciting fight – he added - but I don't think we're suddenly going to see Rea have a black-out. Right now, Sykes is competitive, we'll see if he's able to cause his team-mate any trouble”.
Andrea Dosoli also said his piece: “It's only round 5 and Johnny already has a significant championship lead – said the Yamaha project manager - I think his superiority is clear to see, which means it will be tough for his rivals to close the gap”.