Rea: "We are in a better position than we were last year"

Tuesday, 25 February 2020 09:50 GMT

Reigning Champion Jonathan Rea has not won at Phillip Island since 2017 but he is eager to change that this coming weekend

Five-time consecutive MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) believes he and his team are in a much better position heading into the Yamaha Finance Australia Round than they were last year, as he looks for his first Phillip Island win since 2017.

Ulsterman Rea went fastest in the Official Test at Phillip Island in the last session of the test as he edged out Loris Baz (Ten Kate Yamaha Racing) despite Rea planning on spending Tuesday’s final day of testing focusing on race simulations.

Speaking after testing had finished at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Rea said: “I felt good with the bike, just trying different things with the bike. We worked a lot with the geometry of the bike set-up, weight balance, spring balance, and then moved on to test two Pirelli front tyres. Just understanding that. Both had positives but are quite different in behaviour, have to put that together for the weekend. I understand they have a different rear tyre for the weekend so we have a lot of information to move to Friday.

“Although I sound positive we still have some areas to improve, like the front feeling under braking could be better, trail braking before I release the lever. I felt fast and consistent. We did many laps with the tyre and we are in a better position than we were last year, where I was really not optimistic about the race. I knew I had to ride at a certain speed to finish. This year I feel the bike’s behaving better. I can ride the bike how it requires to be ridden here so huge kudos to the team because we arrived in a better place than last year.”

With Baz, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team), Leon Haslam (Team HRC) and Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) all within half a second of Rea’s fastest time during Tuesday’s running, it does look like Phillip Island will be an exciting race.

You can watch the action from the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season with WorldSBK VideoPass!