PATA Honda’s Jonathan Rea has expressed joy at being back on the front row for the first time since last season after qualifying in second place for tomorrows races in Assen. Rea and his PATA Honda team have
|Rea is aiming to maintain form at Assen this weekend
Photo: PATA Honda
had a somewhat challenging start to the season so were really hoping to turn things around at the Cathedral of speed – the home track for the ten Kate squad who run the team.
The weekend didn’t get off to the greatest of starts for the team as Rea’s team mate, Leon Haslam who had been in the mix with the front runners in Friday’s first free practice fell in the closing stages of the session breaking his leg.
Rea was confident he could run a similar pace to Mr Superpole, Tom Sykes – who has now taken 2 out of 3 poles this season – however a a big slide scared the Northern Irishman a little and left him happy with second. In tomorrow’s races Rea aims to continue a pattern that has seen him win at least one race at every visit to Assen for the last three years.
“First of all, I’m just excited to be back in a front row press conference – the last time was the end of last season. I’m looking forward to the races, though; my guys have done some work and I’m feeling very, very comfortable on the bike but we’ve had minimal time so far to put distance on a race tyre. I think we have two options we can have a look at but a lot will depend on the temperature tomorrow. I thought I could go with Tom [Sykes] this weekend and really push, but I had a big front slide in turn three and put my heart rate through the roof, so I nursed it home. Superpole’s not really my thing, but I felt really confident at the start of Superpole 3 and went out first on a race tyre. Anyway, it’s great to be on the front row for the team’s home race and I just want to send a ‘get well soon’ message to my team-mate, Leon [Haslam], who had a big crash on Friday.” commented Rea.
Times from Superpole can be seen here.