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“In the middle of sh*t, confidence shattered” - Jonathan Rea on calamitous Yamaha WorldSBK debut

Jonathan Rea was prepared to make his feelings known following a disappointing maiden outing as a Yamaha rider in the WorldSBK Championship that left him trailing outside the points at the flag from a bungled pit-stop and general lack of pace.

The Ulsterman - who has endured a troubled week on the factory Pata PROMETEON Yamaha in the direct build-up to the opening round at Phillip Island - suffered a new nadir in race conditions, lapping initially just outside the top ten after the rear chatter issues he’s suffered this week reoccurred in race conditions.

Already struggling prior to the mandatory pit-stop to change tyres, further issues in the box led to him losing around 22secs, leaving him to return to the track outside the points. He’d go on to finish a lowly 17th.


While Rea was fairly muted about the time lost in the pit-stop, he was more flagrant with his views of the R1 and his comfort on it, saying his ‘confidence is shattered’ because he cannot get to the root of the set-up issues that have left him off the pace all week.

“Consistently, I give the same comments but we can’t seem to put our finger on it,” he told the assembled media, according to WorldSBK.com, adding that he doesn’t know why he was even being interviewed because it’s not normally required for riders finishing outside the top ten. 

“It’s frustrating for me and the team as they’re trying their hardest. I’m quite numb to what we’re going through right now, we just need to stay focussed, try to give myself some confidence but they need to change something for me to do my thing. 

“I’m just not feeling it right now. At Jerez, the bike worked fantastic; in race rhythm with all riders, I could compete for a podium. 

“At Portimao, not so much and we were floating around the top five. Here, we’re in the middle of the sh*t.

Though he regards it as a ‘consolation’ for the team, Rea’s woes are compounded further by the strong pace shown by team-mate Andrea Locatelli, who went on to finish in second position.

“The consolation is that ‘Loka’ had a great race so I’m pleased for him but we’ve got a lot of work to do for me to feel comfortable, for me to push so I can do what I can do and regain my confidence again because it’s shattered.

“I’ve got nothing great to say, so I don’t think I can say too much. I need to believe in myself because I know better days are coming but it’s hard to see that right now.”

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