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Imola WSBK: Rea tests new engine ‘character’ in race two

Reigning World Superbike Champion tested a new engine character in the second Imola World Superbike race today which he says is the way forward as it makes his 2016 ZX-10R feel more like last year’s bike in which he dominated the series.

But, like yesterday, Rea again had to contend with an electronics glitch which turned off his Kawasaki halfway through the race as he was recovering from a near-crash when he clipped wet Astroturf out of the final chicane and was almost flung out of the saddle.

“I had a huge moment coming out of the chicane, ran onto the Astroturf, which is something we are talking about in the safety commission but the car guys really seem to like it. It held mosture from the rain the night before,” said Rea, speaking at the track.


“Then a few laps later, fifth gear on full gas, my bike just cut out on the straight, I lost two or three seconds on one lap because I went to switch the bike off and then on again, I don’t know if it was an engine problem or this ghost that is living in my electronics that is playing games as it fired back into life again and it took me a couple of corners to relax as at that point I was accepting a DNF. It kept going and we were lucky to finish the race as I thought the writing was on the wall.

“At the moment, if we can’t win, we are finishing second, every dog has its day and today it wasn;t us. We also tested some a different engine character, more towards what I had last year and it’s clear this is the way forward as my tyre was in much better condition than the other two guys in parc ferme. Certainly for my style this is the way forward to work with this and gather more information.”

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