Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s third round World Superbike championship race from the front row of the grid after setting the second fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions at the Assen circuit in the Netherlands.
The Brit had felt confident of challenging fellow British rider Kawasaki's Tom Sykes for pole position, but a front-end slide early on in his fastest lap in Superpole three persuaded Rea that a front row start was good enough.
With team-mate Leon Haslam absent from Assen because of a broken leg, Rea will be the only Pata Honda World Superbike rider in tomorrow’s races, and is looking forward to competing with the rest of the grid on Sunday.
“I’m just excited to be back in a front row press conference, the last time was the end of last season. I’m looking forward to the races, and my guys have done some work and I’m feeling very, very comfortable on the bike but we’ve had minimal time so far to put distance on a race tyre. I think we have two options we can have a look at but a lot will depend on the temperature tomorrow,” said the Brit after the Superpole sessions.
“I thought I could go with Tom this weekend and really push, but I had a big front slide in turn three and put my heart rate through the roof, so I nursed it home. Superpole’s not really my thing, but I felt really confident at the start of Superpole three and went out first on a race tyre. Anyway, it’s great to be on the front row for the team’s home race and I just want to send a ‘get well soon’ message to my team-mate, Leon, who had a big crash on Friday.”