The first day of practice at Magny Cours is done and dusted, with riders facing a number of obstacles, not least the unstable weather. Jonathan Rea suffered a crash during the damp FP1 but had no rivals in the fully wey conditions of FP2. Two different sessions, which see the world champion come to a simple conclusion.
“In order to have real practice sessions, we need to go back to racing only on Sunday – jokes Johnny – as conditions today were really unusual. Our bike is very different to last year, in terms of the frame balance for example”.
With regard to the current format, there are those who like it and others who don't.
“It's important to listen to both riders and fans and I'm not complaining about the current situation at all. We have a safety commission where the riders can say their piece, but in the moment there's not much you can say to change things. There's not time to be perfect, but then we never would be - even if we raced on Monday we'd find something to change on the bike to improve on Sunday night”.
As for this afternoon, Rea details his work method and analyses the crash.
“I used a classic wet setting, nothing revolutionary but with many changes with respect to the dry. Our bike's strength is its stability, and you feel this in the wet, especially when i try to stop the bike. The crash? It happened for several reasons. I had some new parts on the bike and I felt strong, and unfortunately I slipped”.
Attention now turns to tomorrow but there are still doubts as to how to approach the day.
“It's difficult to decide whether it's better to start with this season's base setting or what we used here last year. We're not as ready as we have been, but the same goes for everyone. I'd like to have a dry track tomorrow morning, as the wet is always hard to interpret, and in the dry it'll be more balanced and there'll be more fans out there”.
Let's not forget that Magny Cours brings Johnny his first match point, something he's playing down: “I'm not thinking about the championship, we'll see what happened. In recent years, they've always told me before the start: “If it happens, we'll be at turn five" but for now I know nothing”.