Rea finds a step at Misano test? “Changing the way the bike behaves was to let me ride the way I want…”

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid hit the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for testing and it was a very positive one for Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha). With new items to try to help make him feel even more comfortable on the Yamaha R1, Rea finished fourth on Day 1 and second on Day 2, leading Yamaha’s charge in Italy on both days. Speaking on Friday, he revealed why the changes had been made and how he felt riding with the new setup.

REA’S TEST: fourth on Day 1, limited running on Friday

Rea’s best time during Day 1 of the test was 1’33.206s as he finished in fourth, coming in the afternoon session on his 73rd lap of the day. The #65 completed 27 laps in the afternoon and 46 in the morning as he tested a new chassis balance which came with positive results, as well as trying different weight distribution and rider positions as Yamaha look to make the six-time World Champion as comfortable and as fast as possible.

The Northern Irishman only did half-a-day on Friday, with the first four-hour session ending an hour early as rain fell. Rea was 13th at the time but he was able to test for a further hour in the afternoon. He was able to set a 1’33.133s to provisionally claim P1 but found himself demoted by Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) after the #54 set another unbelievable lap time with a 1’52.535s. Speaking after Friday’s action, Rea discussed the upgrades on his R1 and praised Yamaha’s rider coach, Niccolo Canepa, for his role in the upturn in form.

HIS VIEW ON THE CHANGES: “From the first exit, it seemed quite normal to me”

Rea said: “We put an SCQ tyre on at the end and I was able to go quite fast. It was the first time I felt that I could ride the bike the way I wanted with it. In the last few rounds, I’ve got nervous with the SCQ because I didn’t feel 100% with the bike. Step by step, it’s been a positive test but still a lot of work to do. The updates were just a balance change on the bike, setup ideas. I’ve been trying to ride the Yamaha in the Yamaha way and sometimes it’s not working. I always looked at the data of Loka, Remy and even sometimes Toprak but I’m me, I have my style. At Cremona, Nico Canpea was a big help with the video analysis, and I was able to see that my lap time wasn’t amazing, but I was really good in some areas. We just need to make this bike my bike in the way I need to ride. The idea to change the way the bike behaves, the style, the geometry was to let me ride in the way I want. From the first exit, it seemed quite normal to me.”

DENNNG’S THOUGHTS: “A really positive day of testing, making steps forward all day…”

Speaking during Friday morning’s action, Pata Prometeon Yamaha Team Principal, Paul Denning, reviewed the test for Rea, saying: “Day 1 was really positive. I think it was Jonathan’s best day of testing, and actually the first test at Jerez was good as well. It was a positive day of testing, making steps forward all day. At Cremona, we didn’t really find that. We came to a wall and couldn’t get over it. Here, he was progressively faster all day and arrived very close to the fastest riders at the end with P4, and the fastest Yamaha, so for JR it was a target achieved that he wanted to do at the start of the day. Jonathan will only do half a day today to finish his testing allocation. The plan was the same as yesterday. Just refining small details, trying to maximise our performance in braking, cornering, and turning so that the better we can exit the corner, and the faster we are in the middle of the corner, the better we are in terms of any straight-line speed differential. Chattering is always an issue here, especially in the last sector, so we’re trying some setting options to reduce that and, so far, they’re working quite well.”

Can Rea continue this form when WorldSBK hits Misano in June? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!


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