Just one win now separates him from Carl Fogarty's record, but Johnny Rea is not thinking too much about that: “I don't have anything special planned to celebrate 59 wins, it would be great to match his record, but I'm only interested in being the best and scoring a fourth world title.” His words are clear, because the Cannibal is focused solely on the Imola race weekend. Things couldn't have gone better for the three-time champion today; starting from the front of the grid, he ran away with the win today, none of his rivals able to keep pace.
As if that wasn't enough to ensure a magical Saturday, there was also the fact that Chaz Davies surprisingly missed out on the podium.
“My strategy worked perfectly. I wanted to make an immediate break for it, pushing to the max through the opening lap to avoid getting stuck in the group. Everything went to plan, as I was able to maintain a good pace, lapping in 1’47 and building a good margin”.
It wasn't perhaps as simple as it looked though. “unfortunately as temperatures increased the situation changed, as did bike behaviour, I had to adapt to the situation and that wasn't easy. I'm pleased anyway, because the ZX-10RR proved really competitive and consistent, particularly through the corners, all down to the recent work done during the Brno test”.
Now race 2 awaits, but he'll be playing catch-up off the line due to the inverted race grid.
“I'll start from further back and so it won't be easy. My strategy remains the same though. Maybe I'll have some slower riders up ahead of me but I'll try to maintain my own pace anyway. Rather than the win, I'm thinking second, seeing as Chaz will start from pole and so it's almost impossible to consider the top step of the rostrum. Unless something incredible happens that is”.