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Jonathan Rea confident Aussie disaster a blip, podium realistic but WorldSBK win ‘some way off’

Gold & Goose

Jonathan Rea is retaining lofty targets of stepping on the podium during Round 2 of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, despite a disastrous start to his tenure with Yamaha during the Phillip Island opener.

The Ulsterman struggled throughout the Australian curtain raiser with set-up issues that hindered his confidence on the Yamaha R1, problems that culminated in him failing to score in any of the weekend’s three races. 

The first time he has completed a WorldSBK race weekend without scoring a single point in 13 years, it also ended with a nasty high-speed crash that necessitated a trip to the medical centre.


Though a downcast Rea was blunt in his assessment of his Yamaha debut at the time, a confidence-boosting test in Barcelona - scene of this weekend’s Round 2 - went a long way to restoring faith that his Phillip Island woes were specific to the circuit and not a trend.

With this in mind, Rea is happy to return to the targets he had prior to Round 1, the six-time WorldSBK Champion looking towards the podium, even if he concedes he is still ‘some way off’ a race win aim.

“We got rid of some of the confidence issues I had in Australia and drew a line under some of the issues from a setup point of view. After the crash, I’m fully recovered. 

“I think a podium is a realistic target but we’re still some way off targeting a race win, but that battle for the podium is hotly contested so I expect it to be a lot of guys, but I feel like one of the guys that can fight for that.

“WorldSBK is so competitive, not just for the front positions but if you have a tough weekend, you’re going to be down the order by quite some way. 

“We still need to improve the tyre consumption although the most positive thing is we did the race simulation and we know how the bike behaves. We know the last couple of laps here can be critical.”

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