With KRT’s Jonathan Rea second, and a fighting second in the opening Jerez race, albeit behind his 2021 championship rival Toprak Razgatlioglu, the prospects for an equally good second feature were unknown, but he maybe had reasons to be confident.
On a warmer track surface in race two, his bike had even more of the same issues that have been affecting the latter part of his season and it looked hard, fighting Axel Bassani’s privateer MotoCorsa Ducati for fifth place. Rea agreed it was.
“Yeah, especially race two,” said Rea. “I think I can stand back tonight and actually be quite satisfied with our day’s work because I didn’t expect to be so strong, like in race one here in Jerez. In fact, from the first session on Friday I felt quite good with the bike, with the tyres. I could fight until the last laps with Toprak in race one, very close. That was positive for me.
“Race two, the temperature came up. I changed the rear tyre. Of course, like in Barcelona I experienced the same kind of problems with the soft tyre. I had zero grip on the side of the tyre. Very hard to stop the bike and go into the corner. I was making a lot of mistakes. This was the difference.
“Normally, we put a soft tyre in the weekend and the difference in lap time is maybe a half second, or you’re much faster. But today we didn’t have it. We need to check why, because honestly it’s strange with this 557 tyre, the SCX family, to be so consistent all the race, but consistently slow for me. Generally, the tendency, I would be fast but experience some drop. So, frustrating. It was a hard race because I was very motivated by Locatelli and Bautista in the front, and Rinaldi. I always just tried every lap my best, tried to take advantage of anything I could, but in the end I could pass Rinaldi. He started to slow. I wasn’t planning to make a pass in T6 where I got close, but in the end I couldn’t stop. So, I had to release the brake a bit and go inside and give some space. We went wide, but I could feel like he wasn’t going to be there. He was going to drop. Then, I set off after Locatelli and Bautista, but their rhythm wasn’t much faster but it wasn’t slower. So, I wasn’t making inroads. That was the story of my race, Hard, because I wasn’t feeling at one with the bike and just struggled. It’s frustrating, to be honest, because I feel like we were extracting everything from the bike. We were really on the limit with many things. It’s just tough.”
Rea confirmed that there was impact between Razgatlioglu and himself on Sunday, and showed the media the photo of the aftermath.
“Yeah, I have a photo from my exhaust,” said Rea. “My guys sent it to me. I have a lot of his front tyre all over my exhaust. He took the whole Akrapovic sticker off. Luckily, it was the exhaust which has some flex in it and not like rear tyre, which would have probably put me down. You have to expect that from Toprak, especially in the first laps. He’s quite aggressive to go in the front. We saw it in Barcelona, whether there’s space or not. In the first corner he was going there. But, he’s fast. He can do that. If he has the feeling to go and go away, why not? Sometimes you have to be like this, but that was of course contact.”