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SBK, Jonathan Rea: "The incident with Lowes? Just a race episode."

"Alex came to apologize immediately. I also happened to hit him in the past. Accepting another zero is hard but, overall, a 6th and 5th place isn't bad. The R1? There's work to be done. The tests will help us."

SBK: Jonathan Rea:

2024 is certainly not Jonathan Rea's year. After dominating the SBK far and wide during last decade riding a Kawasaki, the rider from Northern Ireland is clearly struggling with the Yamaha. The Assen weekend was also proof of this. He wasn't that far behind the fastest, but he still wasn't able to make a difference.

"Physically, I'm fine. On a psychological level, it was definitely a complicated weekend," his commented. "I had the potential to be competitive, but the choice of tires today, and yesterday's track conditions, stumped me. It's obvious that I should've followed my instincts in race one and used the harder compound instead of the SCQ, which was in pieces at the end. In race two, I used the 0 instead, but our bike works best when it uses the entire tire up until the edges. And, when that's not possible, I can't get the grip I need. Even if my lap times were in line with those of the best, their lead was already too wide to be able to catch up. Unfortunately, in lap nine at turn one, Lowes caught up to me, and my race was over. All in all, there's something positive, because we could've been more competitive. A sixth and fifth place are nothing to sneeze at. Now we have to move forward."

About the incident with Alex, the 37-year-old commented, "I'll put it on social media tomorrow. Anyway, I braked late. He came in, made a clean pass. But, at the clipping point, his bike touched mine. It's too bad for him, since he's fighting for the title, but also for me, since I'm already in trouble, and I didn't need another zero. But I have no ill feelings towards him. That can happen in a race. At the parc fermé, he immediately came to apologize. I happened to hit him too in the past. Hopefully, nothing will happen between us again."

When, on a scale from one to ten, he was asked what his level of adjustment to the R1 is at the moment, the six-time Superbike World Champion bluntly replied, "Five, if I think about the victory goal. Can my Yamaha fight with the best? Hard to answer. Looking at what my teammates have done so far, I'd say yes. But, as a team and  constructor, we all need to progress."

Finally, with regard to the program scheduled for the upcoming weeks he revealed, "We had a four-day test planned but, because of the restrictions, I won't be able to use all of them. We'll have to play our cards smartly, also because I need to get to know the bike, and the engineers need to figure out how to improve both the frame and the electronics. Locatelli and Gardner have done a great job. I still need a bit more."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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