Pata Honda rider, Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s races from the 7th round of the World Superbike Championship at Imola on the front row of the grid, after being fastest in two sessions earlier in the day.
|Rea seems a lot happier on the Honda this weekend
Photo: Pata Honda
The Northern Irishman has been on good form at the Italian circuit throughout the weekend, finishing Friday’s Qualifying 1 session just a couple of tenths off Tom Sykes’ blisteringly fast lap time and taking provisional pole this morning. In Superpole, Rea was once again up the top of the timing sheets and managed to save his final qualifying Pirelli tyre for the third and final SP session to take the fight to Sykes in a bid for the all important Tissot watch. However, Rea was simply unable to match the pace of Sykes and the Kawasaki, ending up still over half a second adrift from the Huddersfield rider.
The undulating and flowing nature of Imola suits the Honda, giving Rea the ability to show his true potential unlike at the past two circuits the championship has visited where good top end speed and acceleration give a substantial advantage. It will be interesting to see whether Rea is able to keep up with the Kawasaki tomorrow over a race distance and right now, the Irishman seems to be the only rider capable of doing so. “I’m delighted to be on the front row because that’s always the target for the weekend, as I said yesterday. I was feeling really strong in second qualifying and free practice earlier, making good set-up changes with the bike. I’m really enjoying riding the bike and I’m happy with our set-up for two 21-lap races tomorrow. It’s never easy but I feel more comfortable with the bike here and I think we’ve put ourselves in a position to be able to challenge at the front. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win, but I think we’ve got a race package that will allow us to challenge for that so I’ll hope for good starts and two good races tomorrow.”