Double podium for Kawasaki Racing Team contender.
Four-time defending champion Jonathan Rea is adamant his qualifying position compromised his campaign during Sunday’s fourth round of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Assen in The Netherlands.
The Kawasaki Racing Team pilot qualified eighth after the session was cancelled prematurely due to weather conditions, which saw race one delayed to Sunday while prompting the Superpole race to also be cancelled.
Forcing him to come from behind, Rea eventually mustered up a 2-3 scorecard, leading a number of laps in race two before falling shy of second by a mere 0.018s.
“I feel like qualifying really compromised my race,” said Rea. “Coming from eighth I had to spend a lot of energy and also tyre trying to come through [in race one]. When I got a free track, the gap with Alvaro was quite constant, but he kept going. His pace was relentless right to the end – congratulations to him.
“My team and I put so much effort into the weekend, so I can’t say that we are disappointed for missing the second position. They gave me a great bike, and I got the full potential! Unfortunately, we just decided to go with a harder tyre again. For me, it was working good, and I was going really fast, but in the last few laps, I ran out of grip.
“Van der Mark could pass me on the faster section. The grip was just a little bit better, but I didn’t want to make a mistake. We touched at turn 10, and luckily we both stayed upright.”
Rea holds down second in the championship standings, 53 points adrift of undefeated points Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).