Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea’s day started off swimmingly in wet and windy conditions during the World Superbike round at Magny-Cours. The Northern Irishman reached the third step on the podium in the opening race, only for him to crash out in the rain while leading the final outing of the day.
The rider said it was a ‘day of two halves’ and it certainly was, with Rea experiencing highs and lows. He described the podium as ‘satisfying’ in ‘slippery’ conditions, but the fall in race two means he loses third in the overall championship standings to the eventual race victor, Aprilia’s Marco Melandri.
“It’s been a day of two halves really. Race one went OK although I really struggled with the power character in the wet today. It seems like Magny-Cours has just got really slippery in recent years and today’s conditions really highlighted that problem. It was satisfying to get on the podium but I wanted to give a little bit more to try and win,” said Rea.
“So for race two my team gave me some good changes but we didn’t quite solve the problem. I was still struggling in some areas but I was able to get to the front and this time just stay in a really good rhythm. Unfortunately, from the data we can see that, in turn five and six, I went through on a closed throttle as opposed to partially opened, and that was enough to have the engine braking kick in and bring the rear round.
“It came round so fast, I had no chance to save it and it’s frustrating to get my first DNF of the year. One of my main targets was to finish all races this season but, speaking to the team’s technical co-ordinator and my crew chief, the target was to get to the front and go for the win this afternoon. I crashed at the front trying to win the race so I can’t be too hard on myself.”