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SBK, Rea: "Steps forward, I felt like a dog wagging its tail today."

"The best test, no problems and lots of important information. All I did was smile. I lapped strong on qualifying tires, I felt good. In Yamaha I found the perfect climate that I also had in my old team."

SBK: Rea:

Jonathan Rea is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated riders in SBK this 2024. After the first tests with the Yamaha R1 in Jerez he seemed ready to return the Cannibal able to dominate in his golden moment riding the Ninja, but arrived in Phillip Island something broke in a mechanism that until then from the outside appeared almost perfect.

The first race weekend was simply disastrous for Rea, who, however, worked hard in Barcelona to find his way back and finally seems to be able to sleep soundly in the days leading up to the second round in 2024 to be held at Montmeló. Today he ended the test with a 5th time that matched a very good race pace expressed in the simulation. It can be considered a new starting point for Jonathan riding the Yamaha.

"Our best test without a doubt, the most positive," Rea explained, "It was good to get back on the bike without having any big problems. Today, we tried some things, made some comparisons from the electronics point of view. We found some positive things, some less so. I got a better understanding of the tires that will be there, the ones that Pirelli brought for the race. I tried both the Sprint Race simulation and the long race."

Did you like the tires brought by Pirelli?
"I like the tires. In the simulation I did I was alone, I didn't run with anyone else, and I don't know how much the tires can drop even for others over the distance. But I felt faster, that yes. My potential was faster than what I had last year when I finished with a top five. Even though the track conditions were not great, we gathered a lot of important information. I am satisfied with what we did today. We can really work now, the team worked really well. Too bad we ran out of time, we had a few more things to try. At least now I feel I have found the confidence I needed. It was the first time in a test that I did my best time on qualifying tires, I did it before lunch. I felt good, I thought I could try. The idea was to do another time attack at the end, but we had work to do on other aspects. So at the end I put together all the information I gathered and it was very good."

You have a lot to talk about with the engineers now. Have you identified all the problems at Phillip Island?
"I will talk a lot with the engineers. We figured out the problems I had at Phillip Island, the guys have a lot of data work to solve certain things. I had fun, I was smiling in my helmet and wanted to continue. The briefing with the guys in the team also went very well. We can be happy in short, we needed this step forward after Australia. I have a lot more confidence now than what happened to me there."

Are you worried about tire grip in the race?
"In my long run I started to have some little problems with the front. Then eventually the problems increased with the rear as well. But I had a high pace, I know everyone will have a tire drop but I think there is room for improvement. For at least 15 laps I had very good grip, after that it got worse."

You were always with a lot of people by your side in the pit box today, from Paul Denning to everyone else on the team.
"Since I joined the team Paul has been great. I didn't feel like I was the center of criticism after the first race and it's the same atmosphere I had in my previous team, which then I think is a key to success for a team. I enjoy being part of this team. When you get along with your team, you look forward to making them happy, from the team manager to the mechanics to the engineers. Like a dog with a master, I felt like a dog wagging its tail today!"

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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