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Jerez WSBK: Engine changes help Rea put hand on title

Reigning World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea made a raft of alterations to his ZX-10R for the second race at Jerez including going back to a 2015 swingarm and changing the engine character.

And it was enough for the Castletown resident to put one hand on a successive title as he beat team-mate Tom Sykes to second place and is now 48 points ahead of the Huddersfield rider with 50 points available at Qatar.

“I struggled with front and rear grip, so as soon as it went off I was starting to struggle but not as bad as yesterday. We changed the front tyre, we changed the engine character, we changed a lot but I had confidence in my team they would go in the right direction,” Rea told BSN at the track.


Rea hadn’t stepped onto the Jerez podium before yesterday and has struggled with traction all weekend. He also used a new SC1 front Pirelli but went back to his favoured SC2 for today’s race and says he can now relax.

“I’m satisfied with the gap now, we can go to Qatar very relaxed, especially given the form Chaz is in. The only way Tom can beat me now is if I no-score and he wins both races, which is a fairly low probability, I hope.

“We can be confident of taking back to back championships. The series is won over many different circuits in different conditions and right now we leading the championship and have done a better job than the rest.

“In the last few races, we have taken a hit because the Ducati has been so strong and that is something we need to address, especially in winter testing. I’m a bit disappointed with where we are now but also excited because we can start winter testing tomorrow.”

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