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Catalunya WorldSBK | A big down but Jonathan Rea ends Spanish round on the up

Jonathan Rea made gains during Round 4 of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, despite coming down during Sunday's Superpole Race as his season took another frustrating turn.

Taking an opportunity to pass other riders when the rain started to just lightly fall in some places in the Superpole Race, Rea entered the final lap in second place, but into Turn One Toprak Razgatliolgu made a move to pass, one that from Rea’s persective had a negative effect on him.

Rea’s fall came with Razgatlioglu a fair distance away from him, but avoiding action at that speed saw Rea drift left, and by too much.


“I touched the white line,” said Rea. “When Toprak came past, I felt quite close, not aiming at the corner, aiming towards me to open up the line. He gave me space, but at 320 kilometers an hour there’s that wind buffeting and just knocked me around a little bit. I was wide and caressed the white line and that was enough to put me down. Really frustrated with it because it was a complete knock-on effect to my Race Two.”

Rea’s fall say him start from tenth place in the Superpole race, not the front row he was on his way to taking, even if Razgatlioglu got past him.

“Starting from back there, I had to clear traffic in the beginning,” said Rea. “The Honda guys in the first laps were buzzing around and I was attacking them. They were attacking me. Then [Andrea] Locatelli, he was really good in some areas of the track. Especially the last sector he was much better than me getting onto the start straight, but everywhere else I was able to catch him. But in doing so, I was abusing my tyre a little bit, then when I had clear track to Alex and Toprak, I thought, okay, the race is going to come to me. I’m going to catch them. Don’t push too much.

"But they just kept going. I feel like I probably burned too much tyre consumption in them early laps. We made a small change from yesterday because we finished the race with quite a lot of rubber left yesterday, so I think the small modification made to use more tyre was not the right direction, let’s say. But it’s a little frustrating that I couldn’t catch Alex and Toprak.

"It’s encouraging that Alex had a great race as well. It’s a track that’s very tough from a tyre point of view and we were able to compete for podiums here. I was looking a shoe-in for a podium in the Superpole race until that happened. The last race, Alex was battling for the podium until the end. So, not the weekend we dreamed of but I think better than expectations maybe on Friday.

There was a lot of guys behind me that I figured could have been in the mix. Guys like Loka, Aegerter, Bassani. These kind of guys I figured would all be in the mix, and we were able to do a better job than them.”

Rea agreed that it may have been very different if he had been able to start Race Two further up the grid.

“I felt like if I could have been away…,” said Rea, ruefully. “You see just when you’re in the wheels and you’re not getting attacked and you don’t have to attack, you just conserve much more tyre. I don’t like ifs and buts, but I figured that’s why we struggled a little bit because I was having to attack in the early laps."

Despite the DNF - his third in four rounds - Rea rises to fourth in the overall standings at the expense of Axel Bassani.

CLICK HERE to view the latest 2023 WorldSBK Championship standings after Round 4 of 12 [Catalunya WorldSBK]

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