Fastest on Friday but Rea admits there are "some areas still to improve" at Assen

Friday, 23 July 2021 15:04 GMT

Rea will be looking to reclaim the Championship lead and started Friday’s action by topping the combined classification

After losing the lead of the standings in the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship last time out at Donington Park, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) responded in the perfect fashion on Friday at the TT Circuit Assen: by topping the classification after Friday’s running ahead of the Prosecco DOC Dutch Round.

Rea posted a time of a 1’34.391s in the afternoon Free Practice 2 session to top the order after both practice sessions had been completed, having been second and a tenth away from Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) in Free Practice 1. In both sessions, Rea was ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) with the Turkish star fifth in FP1 and FP2, putting him sixth in the combined classification and four tenths away from Rea.

Explaining his plan and feelings after day one in the Netherlands, Rea said: “We have some different tyre options from Pirelli this weekend, front and rear, so trying to understand that this morning. Worked into a little bit of a long run this afternoon. I felt quite solid, some areas still to improve to feel really confident with the bike but I felt quite okay for day one.”

Tyres have been a big talking point throughout 2021, with the SCX tyre always a discussion about whether it can be used in Race 1 or Race 2. This is no different at Assen, with Rea admitting he already knows what his race setup will be: “It just depends on the temperature, the track, what the track requests, how the tyre drops during the race. Some riders like to be aggressive at the start and manage the tyre. Some like to let the tyre come to you. It’s personal preference and also bike setup but the Kawasaki is working in quite a wide window and, in reason, we’ve used all the tyres this year, but it just depends on what the track requests. Here, I don’t want to talk too much, but I’ve sort of defined my race setup already. One tyre is clearly working better for me than the other option so looking forward to putting more laps on that tomorrow.”

You can follow all the action from the Dutch Round using the WorldSBK VideoPass!