SBK, Rea: "Bautista is not a machine. Understanding him has changed the season."

"After Assen, it felt like I was up against a monster, but I won in Imola, and now the monster is not as scary as before."


Rea, again. In the past, Portimao had already been a winning ground for the Northern Irish rider who, once again, left nothing for his opponents (at least Saturday), winning first the pole and then the race. A victory that brings Johnny to 93 points on Alvaro Bautista: a whole lot if you think of the beginning of the season.

"Alvaro started making mistakes starting in Jerez," he said. "That allowed me to recuperate points but, at the beginning of the season, he seemed really unbeatable. I had to hang in there until I won in Imola and realized he wasn't a macchine. From that point on, I tried not to give up and fought in every race for the best possible result."

Rea, however, keeps his guard up, but remembering what he went through during the season.

"There are still several races, and we've already seen how quickly the situation can change. I'm waiting to finish the weekend to understand how things are. My goal has always been the title but, after Assen, it seemed like I had to fight against a monster but one who doesn't seem as scary as before."

Certainly the contact between Davies and Bautista helped Rea who, however, had to reckon with a drop in tires, and more.

"Alvaro was strong throughout the weekend, and we had a similar pace. I made changes both after the FP3 and after the Superpole, and the situation in the second case didn't improve, so I think we'll return to the set-up we had during the last free practice session. I had a lot of vibrations on the rear, which brought me back to Donington: in the first part of the race, I felt really strong, while I had to manage the drop in tires and my confidence in the second half."

There is also some time for the number one rider to eat some humble pie, which minimizes his work and his love relationship with the Portuguese track.

"To be honest, I don't think I was that strong today. I've always been fast here in the past. It's similar to a motocross track where you have to be in full control of the bike and your body, or on an English track. The Ducatis suffer in the first sector, but they're strong on the rest of the track. I don't think I have the margin I had until last year."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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