Fast lap, pole position, three victories, and the top of the World Championship. That's the summary in a nutshell of Johnny Rea's Portimao weekend. What can we say about the super performance by the champion who captured all the spotlights of the scene in Portugal.
And to think that he arrived with 24 points to recuperate against Scott Redding. In the end, the Kawasaki rider even left him four lengths behind.
“I'd say it was a perfect weekend," Johnny said with a smile. "I really enjoyed riding the Kawasaki. Sometimes it's strange, because I struggled to finish sixth last Sunday, giving it my all, while I was able to do what I wanted this weekend. I found great confidence with the bike here in Portimao, a track where we hadn't even done the winter tests, unlike the other riders.”
And to think that his weekend started uphill.
“In the FP1s, I was in deep trouble, because I couldn't race, due to the poor grip. But then I started to find the right sensations and grew, taking home three victories.”
As mentioned, Rea bids farewell to Portimao as leader of the world championship rankings.
“28 points earned in a weekend aren't bad. However, we have to continue to work, even if it's better to manage the advantage when you're in the lead, rather than behind."
Aragon's double challenge awaits him on the horizon.
“We'll see what'll happen. It'll be a different weekend for me, and also for Scott, even if I don't think about a race like Bautista's last year. It's true that Aragon has two important straights, but I also found them in Argentina and Qatar in the final last season, when I won. It'll be a different weekend, and I'm of the opinion that we won't find particularly high temperatures like in Jerez. So I'll have to find the right stability and set-up with the Kawasaki, in order to be strong.”