You can't to say that Jonathan Rea didn't try today. After a perfect Superpole, in Race 1, he tried to beat the Ducatis, but against Redding, Davies, and (above all) the engine of the Panigale V4, there was nothing he could do. The Kawasaki rider also took some risks to not let Scott get away but, in the end, he had to give up and think about the points he needed to secure 3rd place, even if they weren't enough to allow him to keep the lead in the general rankings.
Jonathan, what was the like from your point of view?
"I felt really good in the first three sectors of the track but, on the straights, I was losing too much with each lap. In the first part of the circuit I tried to reduce the gap, but then I got two or three tenths. Chaz and Scott rode really well, and in these conditions, you can't afford to lose so much."
What did you think when you realized that victory was out of reach?
"It was frustrating, because I felt good at the start of the race. I let Scott take the lead, but then I began to struggle to stop the bike. I tried to attack when braking at Turn 12 where Redding was weaker. I had already noticed it in the previous laps, but I almost hit him. I let go of the brakes, I went wide, wasting a lot of time, and so I also gave Davies the opportunity to catch up to me. At that point, I only thought about managing my own race."
Was there any way you could have responded to Davies?
"After passing me, he took a few tenths of an advantage, and the situation was the same when I was behind Scott. I was losing a lot in the last sector. On the last lap, I gave up. There's work to be done for tomorrow. I think we can improve the bike a bit, especially in front, to improve braking. We also have to keep an eye on the temperatures, because,when they're lower, I feel better. I think we'll review the setup for the front."
Did you also have problems at the start?
"It was a disaster! For the first time in my life, I anticipated the lights going off, then my motorbike went into a wheelie, and I reacted a bit late. It was frustrating for me because my idea was to exploit this pole. I was in third but then I managed to put myself in first. When Scott passed me I relaxed. I was letting him do all the work, but then the result was what it was."
What do you think about the fact that there will still be 5 races at Motorland between this weekend and next?
"I think a bit of aerodynamics on the straights make a difference, but also power. So I have mixed feelings. I'm happy with the work we've done, but also frustrated, because I was very strong in the first three sectors. There are still many races to go until the end of the championship. This one is one of Chaz's circuits, and I expected him to be in front after seeing his pace, while Scott came out of nowhere. We'll see how it'll be tomorrow."
Alex Lowes: "A really strange fall, the traction control didn't save me''
Lowes, Rea's teammate, had it the worst. Alex was virtually on the podium when his Kawasaki threw him into the air at the third corner . The British rider was also touched by the other bikes, but he got away with only ona fright and a few bruises.
"During the tests, I had done some racing simulations, and I felt confident with the pace," he said. "After Redding passed me on the straight, I thought I'd keep up with him, then came the fall, and it was really strange. I have to look at the data. The traction control didn't managed to save me, but I didn't expect to fall in that spot. The good thing is, there are five more races to go in Aragon, and I have a good pace."
Audio recorded by Andrea Rossi