Gino Rea enjoyed one of his strongest weekend’s in his British Superbike career at Snetterton with the Buildbase Suzuki rider running in the top-six all weekend and equalling his best ever finish.
Challenging for the podium in each race, he took excellent finishes of fourth and fifth in Sunday’s races and the results were even more impressive as he bounced back from a big crash on Saturday - after Andrew Irwin’s BMW slowed and Rea clipped the back of Lee Jackson who was taking avoiding action.
The Suzuki was wrecked but the team rebuilt the bike and had him back out on track on Sunday where good starts helped him lead on occasion and consolidate his position with strong lap times throughout. The 31-year old was understandably pleased with his results but also disappointed to have missed out on a maiden BSB podium.
“It was a strong weekend but it’s probably the most disappointed I’ve ever been with a fourth place finish!” he admitted afterwards. “I wanted a podium really badly in the last race but I couldn’t quite get close enough to Jason [O’Halloran] to make it happen. It was a frustrating end to the race but there are plenty of positives to take away.”
Rea has been a regular top-10 finisher this season without ever really troubling the top-six but that all changed at Snetterton as changes to the set-up increased his pace considerably.
“We made a big step forward with the bike this weekend,” he explained. “The Suzuki works well naturally at Snetterton but we made a good step with the chassis and electronics. We’ve been chipping away all year but it felt like my bike this weekend."
Rea was right behind Danny Buchan when the BMW rider had his huge crash at the end of the back straight in race three and that resulted in him taking a high speed trip across the grass.
‘The first thing I really saw was Danny going to the moon! I was right behind him and saw some smoke so I had to make a split decision with which way to go. I felt confident for the restart but had some trouble with the rear brake and the bike was wheelying everywhere whilst the raising temperatures made it difficult for everyone.”
Rea sits in 14th overall in the championship but he’ll head to next weekend’s round at Silverstone in confident mood given his own form and the fact Suzuki have won three of the last five races at the Northamptonshire venue.