“From Lap 1, the bike felt more normal” – is Rea back to his best after Day 1 in Barcelona?

Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) had a disappointing visit to Australia just a few weeks ago, scoring no points and being declared unfit after a Race 2 crash. The two-day MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship was his first chance to get back on the Yamaha YZF-R1 machine as he looked to kickstart his 2024 season properly as the entire field took to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for a Supported Test in Spain.

The first day suggested that Rea was back on the pace as he posted a 1’41.655s and completed 73 laps on his R1 machine, consistently towards the top of the timesheets. It marked a good fightback for the #65 after his crash and point-less outing at Phillip Island, at a Barcelona circuit that traditionally has been trickier for Yamaha than other circuits on the calendar. He finished in fifth place, behind only Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team).

Reflecting on his day and revealing the bike was feeling better, Rea said: “From Lap 1, the bike felt more normal, more like it had when testing throughout the winter. The guys went back to Milan after Australia to analyse all our issues and problems we’ve been having. We came here, fixed all of that. We still have some things to work on but now it feels like a normal test. We can keep working lap by lap. Phillip Island was a really bad start. Mentally, we had a bit more of a reset and started from zero, but also some changes to the bike with more of a base. I felt quite okay with the bike. It feels good but I’m not talking 100%; we need to work in some areas.”

Rea spent the majority of the day towards the top of the timesheets, often running in the top three before being demoted in the final stages of the day. It was also the first chance for him to check whether the rear chatter problem he was suffering from in Australia had gone, with the Ulsterman explaining he wasn’t suffering with it in Barcelona.

Rea revealed the area of the bike he’d ‘really like’ to work on, saying: “An area I really want to focus on with the bike is trying to generate traction with the rear. That’s not just coming from a rear shock or suspension, that’s a combination of linkage, swingarm, bike character… it’s really hard to pinpoint where to improve that. No complaints, for sure. They’re working in a really good way.”

Can Rea bounce back when racing gets underway in Barcelona next week? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

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