Welcome to the beta version of the new Women & Golf website. Our web monkeys are still hard at work and welcome your feedback.  


WorldSBK Catalunya: 'Fighting with Toprak a lot of fun’ - Rea

Hopes of a dominant home WorldSBK race for KRT’s Jonathan Rea failed to materialise at Catalunya this weekend despite a positive Barcelona test.

Within shouting distance of his Kawasaki Racing Team’s headquarters and workshop Rea had almost every kind of weekend imaginable over three days.

Wet, dry, too hot, his 2021 Superpole record-setting dominance coming to an end.


In the wet race one, the smart money was on him and his team’s great experience but it was not to be, as fourth was the best Rea could get. In the Superpole Race, an opposite experience, as Rea won his 10th race of 2021, fighting and overcoming Razgatlioglu over only five laps.

Then in a hot race two again set-up issues held Rea back and he was only sixth, which is a truly bad result for the Northern Irishman, even in a season when the rest of the bikes caught up to his Kawasaki, at most tracks at least.

And yet, he is only one point behind Razgatlioglu, with the championship almost completely reset, “Yeah, it’s nothing. We’ll see,” was his summation to the one point championship as it stands.

He said of the whole Barcelona round, “A difficult weekend. We didn’t maximise our potential this weekend, both in race one and race two. The Superpole race was nice. A lot of fun; fighting with Toprak. The rhythm was really fast. It was a five-lap race, so it was more about who wanted it than who was the most clever with setup.

“Race two, right from the start, I really struggled in the braking area to stop the bike. Friday we made a long race simulation with the bike and it felt OK. I still had a drop at lap 14, but today my pace in the middle of the race was terrible. I was just getting pushed into all the corners and couldn’t stop the bike, couldn’t be fluid with the bike. So, I was real surprised and really disappointed because I think we could have been much more competitive if we had made some better decisions.”

Rea would not let on what he would do different in the same circumstances. “I’d prefer to keep them cards, to be fair. I don't want to make excuses, either. We should have worked a little bit better. It is how it is.

"It was a real fighting position, real fighting sixth place, which is tough. The bike was moving. In the end, the gap was going up from behind. My rhythm was the same as the guys in front in the last laps, but in the middle of the race I was just too slow. That’s what did the damage. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like we achieved our full potential.”

Having tested at Catalunya, and in warm conditions, it was all a bit of a mystery to Rea. “This track is a little bit like, you know at Valencia or Jerez sometimes the track is completely different.

“The bike I used at the test was even different to now. It’s just some days like Friday there was zero grip on the track. Today there was more grip but more tyre consumption, too. So, it’s frustrating. Probably yesterday the rain didn’t help. Washed the grip off.


“We arrived here after one week of a 24-hour car race, so the track conditions weren't very similar to the test. In the test, I was very fast and consistent and this weekend was a little bit different feeling on the bike. We made good steps forward, to be honest, though. Friday I felt not so good, also FP2, but this morning in warmup I felt really good with the bike. The Superpole race was very good, but then in the hotter conditions in the afternoon we struggled a lot.”

There were some high profile incidents, accidents and delays at Catalunya, from Friday until the end, and Rea said of it all, “Possibly because the track temperature is so high, the track is very greasy as well,” he stated. “It’s getting to that time of year where people are wanting to push for good results for the future, and to finish the year well. But the racing has been really close. The manoeuvres have been close. I don't want to complain.

“I was on the receiving end of quite a few touches today, but that’s racing. I was also making my way, but sometimes you see the concertina effect with Alex and Locatelli and Redding in the Superpole race then the T1 with just so many bikes in one position. I don't think it helps T1 being so far from the start line, because everybody thinks, if I brake 20 meters later, I have a chance. They’re just brave. It’s unfortunate.”

Articles you may like


More WorldSBK

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram