Rea reacts to Cremona outing: “I love the bike, but I still need to put my stamp on it”

Friday saw the curtain brought down on the first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at Cremona, Italy. Yamaha were among the big names missing from the opening day of testing, but they certainly made up for it by the end of the day on Friday. One rider who got valuable track time under his belt was ex-World Champion Jonathan Rea. Despite finishing P12 in the combined standings, Rea took a lot from the test, and saw it as a key opportunity to build further momentum for the remainder of the season.

Speaking about only having one day to test at Cremona, Rea said: “It’s nice to get back on the bike. It was important to test out this track before we race here in September. We tried to start finding the limits with the R1 and get more comfortable. Some of the settings worked a lot better compared to what I’ve been using from the start of the season.” Following on from this, Rea further elaborated on next steps, saying: “I think the next step is to get me even more comfortable on the bike, in order to get a little closer to that feeling of being on the limit. It’s frustrating, but it’s also positive because I know that there’s margin to improve.”

Ulster native Rea was also very transparent about his need to get more time onboard the Yamaha R1. Rea said: “Yeah, I need laps. It’s so positive that the other Yamahas are fast…but it’s not my bike. I love the bike, and I love riding the bike, but I still need to put my stamp on it. I want to use all the benefits of the Yamaha R1, but also use all of the benefits of my riding style, so we’re just trying to find that match right now. The team are working really well and are trying to push it along further.”

The Yamaha rider offered a further fascinating insight into the technical aspects of riding his new Yamaha R1. The #65 rider outlined that: “It’s hard to explain. It’s as if you have to ride the bike hard, but then you almost have to massage the bike around the track. But you can see from Remy and Locatelli that the bike has so much potential.”

Lastly, the ex-World Champion had a special message of thanks for the hundreds of fans who commuted to Cremona for testing. The Yamaha man said: “Yeah, it’s really nice. Even in difficult moments, especially in this day and age of social media, it’s the fans who give me the energy to keep pushing. Thanks to everyone and hopefully we see a great turnout here in a few months’ time.”

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