Jonathan Rea ended the opening day of action as the fastest British rider but was in second place behind pacesetter Garrett Gerloff
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returned to action and returned to the United Kingdom for the Prosecco DOC UK Round at Donington Park and home hero Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) finished as the highest-placed British rider after two practice sessions on Friday, with the six-time Champion outlining his goals for the weekend.
Rea topped the first 45-minute practice session by three tenths ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), with the Turkish sensation trailing Rea by 20 points in the Championship standings. Rea was also second in Free Practice 2, with the gap also three tenths but this time behind Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team); the American on top for the day on his first visit to the iconic venue.
With strong pace shown across both sessions for the six-time Champion, Rea was clear on his goals for his home weekend at a venue where he has already claimed five victories including a triple win on WorldSBK’s last visit to Donington Park in 2019. Rea said: “Expectations are open minded, but the target is to win, of course. I feel like we’ve got the package to do that this weekend. At Misano, I was just a little bit behind the ball all weekend just struggling to get that front grip. I was there but not good enough. Here, I feel like it’s a different story. My rhythm in the practices have been quite good with the harder option rear tyre. I didn’t focus so much on the soft. We tried it at the end for a lap time and it came, but I was a bit… I didn’t really understand the tyre because it was the first time I used it today. I feel in good spirits, but the weather is going to be the biggest factor tomorrow. The forecast isn’t great. I feel good wet or dry.”
With Rea’s success at Donington Park well established, with 11 podiums and five victories in his 21 races at the British venue, he will be hoping to add to these already-impressive numbers as he looks to extend his Championship lead. It comes on the back of a rare winless weekend last time out at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” and Rea will be hoping he can bounce back in style in front of his home fans.
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